Break up the New Jersey Nets.
On social networking night, the Nets earned their second straight victory as they defeated the Detroit Pistons at “The Rock,” 89-74. This streak marks the first time the Nets have won two in a row in over a month.
New Jersey has now played two solid games in a row. They had a great win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday and have now won both games so far this season against Detroit.
Interestingly, the Nets are now 5-1 when their owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, enjoys the game from his luxury box. Note to Prokhorov: Attend more games.
Anthony Morrow returned to action tonight after missing 17 games with a hamstring injury. He did not start and only played about 13 minutes. He drained a three-pointer late in the third quarter and went on a scoring spree with eight points in just over a minute spanning the third and fourth quarters, finishing with 10 points.
Brook Lopez opened the game with the hot hand. Not only did he score six of the first 10 New Jersey points, but he also added three blocks in first six minutes of play.
Even with Morrow back, Stephen Graham got the start and contributed nicely early on with six points of his own.
This game did not project to be a great offensive battle, as Detroit came into action ranked 25th in the NBA in scoring while the Nets were even worse at 29th.
New Jersey led 21-18 after the first quarter but hit a cold spell to start the second quarter. They only scored four points in the first five minutes of the quarter. The Pistons took their first lead, but back-and-forth lead changes ensued.
A 6-0 Nets run gave them a five-point lead late in the first half, and Kris Humphries once again gave New Jersey great minutes off the bench. He scored eight points and pulled down five boards in the half.
Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 10 points in the half, and a buzzer-beater by Tracy McGrady kept the Nets lead at five heading into the break.
Emotions ran high as the third quarter began, as it seemed as though after every foul called, someone was complaining to an official. The game remained close until the Nets broke out on a 9-2 run to take a seven-point lead, which they maintained throughout the rest of the quarter.
The Nets caught fire in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 17. Lopez led the Nets with 15 points, who also got a double-double from Humphries (11 points, 12 rebounds).
Devin Harris also had an impressive game with 12 points and nine assists.
Maybe this team is showing they can win without Carmelo Anthony. For what it’s worth, Rip Hamilton, who would have also wound up in New Jersey in the deal for Anthony, did not see any action tonight and has not played in the last five games.