Detroit Pistons defeat the Brooklyn Nets 118-112


DETROIT, MI – The Detroit Pistons defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-112 in what was one of their more complete games of the season.

It was also a prototype game of how Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey can work as an elite backcourt. The duo combined for 66 points with Cunningham scoring 32 points with 11 assists and Ivey with 34 points which lead all scorers.

”We just played our ball game,” Ivey said of he and Cunningham’s performance. “I feel like when we’re on the floor together there’s going to be shots opening up for us.

Aside from an eight minute stretch in the second quarter where the Pistons defensive energy and offensive cohesion was lacking, they played really good.

There were several contributing factors to the win including lineup changes instituted by head coach Monty Williams. He decided to stagger Cunningham and Ivey minutes with the second unit, especially in the third and fourth quarters. In the second quarter they switched to an all bench lineup that stymied all momentum built after a 26-16 first quarter in favor of the Pistons.

”Our second unit stepped up in the second half,” Monty Williams said. “But I thought we lost it a bit in the first half.”

”Playing Cade 38 minutes every night isn’t something we want to do, but I thought playing him longer with the 2nd unit was needed. It was an anchor with that group.”

Cade Cunningham played tough all night and drew big compliments from his head coach during the post game press conference.

”I thought Cade willed us tonight… it was a big moment.”

Effort Wins

One of the unsung heroes was back up center James Wiseman whom Williams has continued to give opportunities to. He has credited his work ethic in practice noting how his energy, and try hard effort translated in game versus the Nets.

“I thought James Wiseman’s effort propelled us in many ways.”

But Jaden Ivey was a spark all night. He scored at all three levels on offense getting into the paint with ease, hitting the mid range and connecting on 6 of 9 three pointers.

“Like coach always says, reps remove doubt,” Jaden Ivey mentioned after the game.

Ivey was shooting below 24% from behind the arc in his last 10 games before the matchup versus the Nets. But he’s worked hard in practicing trying to give himself the best chance to bust the slump.

“He went through a rough stretch but it was nice to see the outside shot go down tonight,” Williams said. “He works hard on it.”

”We’ve always said if you put the work in the reps remove doubt.”

Tonight, things went according to plan and how they’ve practiced. Now the key is finishing the season just as strong as they did the game against the Nets. With a focus on defense, sharing the ball on offense, and stamina to close out games.

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Photo Credit: Brandon Dent – Woodward Sports Network