Net gain: New Jersey stays unbeaten under Frank
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Richard Jefferson scored 27 points and
grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the New Jersey Nets past the Detroit Pistons,
89-78, at Continental Airlines Arena.
Jason Kidd contributed 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for New
Jersey, which extended its season-high winning streak to nine games and
improved to 8-0 under interim head coach Lawrence Frank.
Kerry Kittles netted 17 points and Kenyon Martin chipped in 13 and eight
boards for the Nets.
“Our guys did a terrific job, mixing up man and zone coverage,” said Frank.
“They really worked their tails off.”
Chauncey Billups paced Detroit with 23 points. Richard Hamilton had 19 and
Ben Wallace collected 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who have
dropped four in a row.
Two free throws by Jefferson with just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth
quarter staked New Jersey to a 75-64 advantage.
Detroit then responded with a 9-3 run, capped by Billups’ three-pointer, to
pull within 78-73 with 7:31 left.
However, New Jersey limited the Pistons to just one point over the next 6 1/2
minutes and sealed the contest when Kittles nailed a three-pointer with 1:03
left to make it 86-74.
“We’re just flat out not getting it done,” said Wallace. “We came out in the
first quarter and played pretty decent. After that, everything was downhill.”
The Pistons closed the first quarter with an 11-0 spurt, keyed by five points
from Hamilton, to take a 29-16 lead after 12 minutes.
Detroit’s advantage reached 14 at 33-19 on a dunk by Darvin Ham with 9:45
remaining in the second quarter.
The Pistons still led by 10 with 4:24 left in the period. However, Detroit
would not score for the remainder of the stanza, while New Jersey countered
with 14 points to grab a 46-42 advantage at the intermission.
Jefferson netted eight points during the late surge and ended with 13 in the
first half. Hamilton led the Pistons in the opening 24 minutes with 11 points.
The Nets, behind 10 points from Kidd, outscored the Pistons 25-20 in the third
quarter and held a 71-62 lead after three periods of play.