Monday , Mar , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nets put the clamps on Detroit

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Vince Carter scored 22 points as New
Jersey held on to defeat Detroit, 79-74, at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Carter added seven rebounds and six assists for the Nets, who won their eighth
consecutive game. Nenad Krstic scored 16 points and grabbed nine boards.
Richard Jefferson tallied 14 points, while Jason Kidd offset a low scoring
performance (seven points) with a season-high 14 rebounds.

Richard Hamilton scored 19 points for the Pistons, who were held to their
lowest point total of the season. Tayshaun Prince and Tony Delk each
scored 12 points. Antonio McDyess scored 11 points and grabbed 18 rebounds,
his highest total since the 2001 season. Chauncey Billups struggled,
scoring just nine points, all in the fourth quarter.

Detroit saw its impressive 16-game home winning streak come to an end.

“This is a team[New Jersey] we know we can beat,” said McDyess. “They are
competitive but we know we’re at home and we’ve got the advantage. When we
come up short like we did, it definitely hurts.”

With the scored tied 56-56 at the start of the fourth quarter, Carter
drained a three pointer and Krstic dropped in a layup to give New Jersey the
five-point advantage just a minute into the final period.

Cliff Robinson gave the Nets an eight point lead, 69-61, when he nailed a trey
of his own with 6:26 remaining.

Carter upped New Jersey to its largest lead of the game when he converted a
three point play with 4:28 left, giving the Nets a nine-point advantage,
74-65.

The Pistons, though, responded as Billups nailed a jumper and a three
pointer, the 1,000th of his career, and Hamilton scored on a driving layup to
bring Detroit within two, 74-72, with just over two minutes remaining.

Rasheed Wallace rejected Krstic on New Jersey’s next possession, but
Carter came back at the other end and got a hand on Hamilton’s shot for the
Pistons.

Carter and Jefferson both missed jumpers for the Nets, giving Detroit a chance
to take the lead or tie with 15 seconds left.

Billups, though, missed badly on a three pointer and the Pistons were forced
to foul Carter, who collected the rebound.

Carter only managed one of two from the charity stripe, however, making the
score 75-72 and giving Detroit another chance to tie.

New Jersey, though, in a clever move, fouled Billups with 3.2 seconds
remaining, forcing him to shoot two free throws rather than giving him a look
at a three pointer.

After Billups made his first shot, he attempted to miss the second, but
the 90.3 percent foul-shooter made it anyway to bring the Pistons within one,
75-74.

Detroit fouled Kidd, who converted both free throws to push the lead to
three, 77-74, with 2.4 seconds left.

With one last chance to tie the game, Carter deflected Wallace’s inbounds
pass, Robinson collected the ball and knocked down two free throws to ice the
game.

“It’s another win on the road against a high level, quality opponent,” said
New Jersey head coach Lawrence Frank. “Now, we have to come back tomorrow
against another high level, quality opponent[Phoenix]. Our guys did a great
job of putting themselves in a position to win.”

The first half was a tale of two quarters.

Sparked by four-straight points from Jefferson, New Jersey outscored Detroit
14-4 to start the game and held a 13-point advantage at the end of the first
quarter, 23-10.

Detroit responded in the second quarter, as Delk led the Pistons on an 11-0
run midway through the period to cut the deficit to three at the break, 38-35.

The Pistons outscored New Jersey 21-18 in the third quarter to tie the game at
56-56, heading into the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

Detroit outrebounded New Jersey, 54-48…Robinson finished with eight points
and three rebounds in just under 14 minutes of action for the Nets…The
Pistons saw their four game winning streak come to an end…New Jersey won the
season series, 2-1…The 10 points in the first quarter was Detroit’s lowest
point total in a quarter this season, and its 35 points were the lowest for a
half…New Jersey shot 37.3 percent from the floor, while Detroit managed just
34.1 percent.

DET NJN