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Nets best Pistons in final playoff tune-up
Brooklyn, NY (Sports Network) - Brook Lopez scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Andray Blatche chipped in 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor as the Brooklyn Nets downed the Detroit Pistons, 103-99, on Wednesday at Barclays Center.
Kris Humphries and Joe Johnson scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Nets (49-33), the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and winners of six of seven heading into the playoffs, where they will face the fifth-seeded Chicago Bulls in the quarterfinals beginning Saturday.
"It's going to be fun; they're a physical team, a very aggressive team. We'll have to try to outrebound them and match their intensity," Lopez said of the Bulls.
Will Bynum scored 23 points and Greg Monroe turned in a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards for the Pistons (29-53), who came in tying a season- high with four straight wins.
Brooklyn also swept Detroit for the first time in their 36-year history.
"Could we have won some more games? Of course. Do we have a long way to go? Yes. Are the things we need to address? Without a doubt," Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank said.
Andre Drummond supplied 13 points, three steals and three blocks, while Rodney Stuckey had 11 points in defeat.
Leading by 12 at the break, Brooklyn set the tone early in the second half, outscoring the visitors 15-6 to strengthen its edge to 21 points. Detroit made just 7-of-16 attempts in the third, while Lopez, who sat to rest for the second quarter, supplied 10 points and helped give the Nets an 83-66 advantage heading into the fourth.
The home team's lead remained in double-digits with most of the starters remaining on the bench. Khris Middleton made a pair from the free throw line with 2:00 to play which closed the Pistons' gap to nine, but the deficit proved to be too much as the Nets held on for the win.
Brooklyn expanded its lead to 18, 46-28, with 6:55 left in the second, but Detroit fought back to close the gap before heading into the break down 60-48.
After trailing for the early portion of the first quarter, Brooklyn closed the stanza on a 11-0 run to head into the second up 29-18. All five Nets starters, though, except Wallace, did not return for the rest of the first half.
The Nets dropped three of four to the Bulls, their first-round opponent, during the regular season ... Detroit made just 1-of-13 shots from behind the arc.
04/18 00:58:33 ET
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