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Nets rally in fourth quarter to beat Pistons

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez misses his shot

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez misses his shot as Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game at Barclays Center on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Nets have spent the better portion of this season living as nomads -- flitting from city to city, watching as the losses piled up along with their frequent flier miles, waiting for things to finally click.

Which makes Sunday night's 87-83 victory over the Pistons at Barclays Center quite the homecoming.

The Nets (4-13) erased an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter behind their defense and their bench, and eventually went ahead for good on Brook Lopez's free throw with 29 seconds left to break a tie at 83.

Shane Larkin scored seven of his nine points in the fourth and Wayne Ellington, who entered the game averaging 3.1 points, scored seven of his 12 in the frame. Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Lopez scored 15 with nine rebounds and six blocks. Detroit's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 21.

It was the Nets' third straight home win, and for a team that has languished on the road, that's good news. The Nets play their next eight games in New York, with one against the Knicks at the Garden on Friday.

"The stretch that we played well was the stretch that we needed to play well," coach Lionel Hollins said of the fourth quarter. "They were sort of feeling sorry for themselves , so to just have the fortitude to stick with it because it could have been easy to just let go and let them get up by 15 points."

Down 67-59 to start the fourth, Ellington scored five straight points to bring the Nets back into the fold. With 4:55 to go, Larkin hit a three to give the Nets their first lead since early in the second quarter. Young added a three about 40 seconds later for an 81-76 lead.

"It felt like I cracked the code tonight," Ellington said. "I felt like I'm back in a little bit of a rhythm . . . That's part of being a professional . . . having faith that it will come back around for you and it usually does."

The Pistons took an 83-81 lead on Andre Drummond's layup with 1:21 left but Jarrett Jack hit a jumper half a minute later to tie it at 83, setting the stage for Lopez.

"This was a hard-fought game," Hollins said. Against Cleveland, "we played great and we lost. Tonight, we were very inconsistent . . . and we come away with a win."

Inconsistency was the name of the game for both teams early on. The Pistons missed their first five free throws but eventually ended the first quarter on a 6-2 run for a 22-18 lead. The Nets managed to stay in it on the back of Joe Johnson, who scored nine of the first 11 points in the second quarter to briefly give them a three-point lead.

"It wasn't the prettiest but I heard something when I was a rookie, that all of them look the same in April," Jack said. "It felt like we were kind of running into the wall . We were doing necessary things to put us in a position to be successful and then still coming up with the short end of the stick. At times, you kind of want to let go of the rope."

Until a win like Sunday night's makes you want to hold on a little longer.


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