Pistons-Nets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 16, 2013
The Brooklyn Nets still don't know who they'll play in the first round of the playoffs, but they hope to be fully rested and healthy once it starts. With the Eastern Conference's fourth seed locked up, the Nets will go for their first season sweep of the Detroit Pistons in franchise history and sixth win in seven games overall Wednesday night in Brooklyn. Even with starters Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans and Joe Johnson getting the night off, the Nets (48-33) rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat Washington 106-101 on Monday. Andray Blatche had 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Kris Humphries scored a season-high 20 with nine boards as part of the Nets' makeshift lineup. Both big men started for the first time since December. "Even though we had already clinched the playoffs and it didn't matter whether we win or lose, we wanted to win that game," said Tyshawn Taylor, who had a season-high 14 points and hit a key 3-pointer with 22 seconds left. As Blatche played a season-high 38 minutes, Humphries played 34 after averaging less than 16 over his previous nine games. "We're not going to be successful in the playoffs unless we get the Kris Humphries that we know," coach P.J. Carlesimo said of his former starting power forward. "It was a big step for him." While it's unclear if Blatche and Humphries will be in the lineup again for Lopez and Evans, Gerald Wallace could get a second straight start as he continues to work his way back from a heel injury. Wallace had two points in 22 minutes against the Wizards after missing the previous two games. "Hopefully if he comes out of it well tomorrow, we can play him more on Wednesday," Carlesimo said. Carlesimo's club will play either Chicago or Atlanta to open the playoffs. Brooklyn has split four games with the Hawks and has dropped three of four to the Bulls. First, the Nets will try to sweep Detroit for the first time in their 36-year history. After winning the first two meetings by a combined five points, Brooklyn led by as many as 43 in a 119-82 rout at Detroit on March 18 behind Williams' 31 points. Johnson scored a team-high 28 points and made a jumper as time expired in the second overtime to give the Nets a 107-105 victory in the last meeting in Brooklyn on Dec. 14. While there is some uncertainty surrounding the future of the franchise, the Pistons (29-52) have put together one of their best stretches at the end of an otherwise disappointing season. Greg Monroe had 27 points and 16 rebounds as Detroit beat Philadelphia 109-101 on Monday to match a season high with its fourth straight win. Before the game, Pistons owner Tom Gores remained noncommittal on the status of coach Lawrence Frank and team president Joe Dumars. "At the end of the day, this is our job," said Monroe, averaging 19.6 points this month. "When you step on the court, you have to play, and that's what I focus on. There's always going to be stuff that happens off the court." Now the Pistons look to close the season by winning five in a row for the first time since Dec. 4-12, 2009. Detroit has averaged 108.0 points and made 44.2 percent from 3-point range during its four-game win streak, compared to 92.3 and 17.6 percent (9 of 51) in its three losses to the Nets.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Zach LaVine dedicates dunk contest win to Flip Saunders

Alleged Manning sexual assault cited in Tennessee lawsuit

Arian Foster: It's hard for me to watch football

Isaiah Thomas recruiting players at All-Star weekend

Report: Charles Woodson joining ESPN's Sunday NFL crew

Best and worst from NBA All-Star Saturday night


WATCH: Klay Thompson can't go home unless he beats Steph Curry in 3-Point contest

Star players are hurting Houston Rockets

Emmitt Smith: Adrian Peterson only current player who could break rushing record

Coach K gets buzzer-beater win over Virginia for his birthday

Baylor approves new measures to deal with sexual assault

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

Fans want Floyd Mayweather to buy their soccer team

Tennessee shares Valentines-themed photo of packed stadium

NY Post writer takes harsh shot at Jason Pierre-Paul

LaVine, Gordon put on best NBA dunk contest in years

WATCH: Thompson beats teammate Curry in 3-point contest

NFL teams, players hand out awesome Valentines

Earl Campbell ‘disappointed’ in Johnny Manziel, wants to help

Big man Karl-Anthony Towns wins NBA skills challenge

MLB commish: Cubs will host All-Star Game in near future

WATCH: Memphis forward recreates Vince Carter's elbow dunk in game

Bruins forward is goal scoring machine after suspension

Michael Jordan gives Kobe Bryant complete set of Air Jordans

Drake has Kentucky edition of custom ‘OVO’ Air Jordan 8s

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker