Nets use furious late rally to defeat NBA-worst Pistons

The game, like the season, wasn’t going the way the Nets wanted. But they’ve shown some pride in closing both well.

They stormed to a 113-103 come-from-behind victory over Detroit, finally looking like the team they were supposed to be down the stretch.

Trailing by 15 with just over seven minutes to play, the Nets went on a blistering 29-4 run to flip the script before a sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center — including team owner Joe Tsai, seated courtside.

Cam Thomas, who scored a game-high 32 points, scores on a layup during the Nets’ 113-103 win over the Pistons. Robert Sabo for New York Post

The Nets scored the final 19 unanswered points, forcing nine straight misses and three turnovers down the stretch.

The Nets have won five of their past seven to improve to 31-47.

They’ve been eliminated from postseason contention and will clearly fall short of their goals.

But with four more dates on the schedule, they can at least build some momentum going into the offseason — and hopefully next season.

Cam Thomas poured in a game-high 32 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“We started playing our brand of basketball. [It was] us getting stops and playing fast,” Thomas said.

Dennis Schroder, who scored 24 points, celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer during the Nets’ win. Robert Sabo for New York Post

“It’s big. Just having something to build on for next year. Obviously, we [wanted to be playing] a [playoff] series against somebody. … We just have to finish strong. Keep developing the cult that we [were] preaching during training camp. But you said we are five [out of] seven. That’s good. Just finishing strong [and] seeing what we can build on for next year so we don’t have another season like this.”

Dennis Schroder added 24 points and six assists, and 19-year-old rookie Noah Clowney had a second straight strong performance with 17 points and six boards off the bench.

Interim coach Kevin Ollie has stressed there is plenty to play for.

“Yeah, they just kept hunting, they kept hunting, hunting, hunting. And we weren’t finding anything to eat the first three quarters, but they just kept going out there. And then we finally found a pace that we wanted on defense and offense,” Ollie said. “So it’s just hunting season, and we’re not finished yet. We just want to keep hunting until the last seconds run out on the season.

Mikal Bridges, who scored 13 points, looks to make a moved during the Nets’ victory. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

“But I’m just so proud of the resilience. … That shows resilience, that shows fight, that shows they’re staying in it no matter what’s going on. And that’s championship culture, a championship foundation that we want to build.”

The Pistons (13-65) are the worst squad in the entire NBA.

They’ve dropped 12 of their past 13, including getting blown out the night before in Memphis.

But the Nets looked like the tired team early on.

They fell behind 44-25 with 7:56 left in the first half on a short hook shot by Chimezie Metu.

After Marcus Sasser rose up and drilled a 3-pointer over two Nets, Thomas got bodied by Jaden Ivey, knocked down en route to the Detroit standout’s short jumper.

The Nets trailed by 17 before mounting a rally.

A Jaylen Nowell 3-pointer left Brooklyn in a 99-84 hole with 7:49 left.

Jalen Wilson, who scored 10 points off the bench, grabs a loose ball during the Nets’ win. Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

But the Nets stormed back with that 29-4 blitz.

Clowney’s right corner 3-pointer pulled them within 103-99.

Then, after he blocked Troy Brown Jr., Nic Claxton drew an offensive foul on James Wiseman to give the Nets the ball.

A Schroder go-ahead 3-pointer put the Nets up 104-103 with 2:54 remaining, and after Brooklyn forced a shot clock violation with a defensive stand, Schroder made a pair at the line.

Schroder’s 12-foot jumper padded it to 108-103.

The Pistons seemingly broke the blitz until Claxton got whistled for goaltending on a Brown hook shot with 1:03 in regulation.

But after a review, the call got reversed, and the Nets got credited with their seventh block of the second half.

Jalen Wilson added a 3-pointer for icing on the cake.


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