It was a struggle to score points at times for the New Jersey Nets, but they were still able to come out with a 15-point victory over the Detroit Pistons, winning 89-74.
After getting out to a slow start by hitting just six of their 16 first-quarter shot attempts, New Jersey turned it on and hit 48 percent of their shots for the rest of the night.
Like the opening period, the third quarter was a lesson in offensive inefficiency, as the Nets connected on only 37 percent of their shots, but things would soon turn for the better.
Going along with rest of the team, Anthony Morrow, making his return after missing 17 games, couldn't find his rhythm early on, but figured it out when it mattered.
Morrow didn't make a basket until just before the third quarter ended, when he nailed a three-pointer. He went on to score New Jersey's first seven points of the fourth (10 in a row going back to the third), opening up a 74-62 lead the Pistons could not overcome.
The Nets as a whole shot 63 percent in the game's final period, scoring 22 points in the process. They also hunkered down defensively for the entire game, holding Detroit to a 33 percent field goal percentage. Detroit's 74 points were also the fewest allowed by the Nets this season.
To further highlight the defensive effort, consider that only once did the Pistons score more than 19 points in a quarter.
Devin Harris set the tone for New Jersey on both sides of the ball.
Harris scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and handed out nine assists. He also made three fantastic defensive plays in the fourth quarter when he chased down Will Bynum for a steal that led to a Morrow three-pointer, caught Bynum from behind again and blocked his shot, then took a charge from Detroit's point guard later in the period.
All together, the Nets blocked seven shots and came away with six steals and, for the second game in a row, they got a very balanced scoring effort.
They didn't have seven players in double figures like they did against Utah Wednesday night, but they did have four in double digits and seven players tallied at least seven.
Brook Lopez was the leading scorer with 15 and the bench was also extremely productive, totaling 41 points.
Kris Humphries notched another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Before we all get too excited, we have to remember that these were the Detroit Pistons. They're not a good team. It's still nice to win consecutive games, though, and considering that one of those wins came against the Jazz, the mini-streak is even sweeter.
The Nets will get a much tougher test Saturday night when Dallas visits the Prudential Center.
New Jersey fell short against the Mavericks in a hard-fought, early December contest and will be looking for revenge. A three-game winning streak, or even keeping it close over the weekend, would certainly signal that the team is moving in the right direction.