AUBURN HILLS — Jerebko never missed a field goal the first three quarters, but Jason Maxiell was good the fourth quarter that Jerebko couldn’t get back on the court. Jerebko went 9-for-9 from the field and had 20 points, and Maxiell scored nine points the fourth quarter Saturday night as the Detroit Pistons defeated the New Jersey Nets 99. It was the second win five days over the Nets for the Pistons and left the Nets with a 1 record on the road. Maxiell struggled early the game and seemed to fumble away the ball every time it came to him the early going. But he came through Dan Boyle Jersey when it counted, scoring nine of his 13 points and grabbing four of his six rebounds the fourth. Maxiell really had it going at the end, and that’s why we rode him and why we didn’t put back into the game, Pistons coach John Kuester said. I was very happy for because he started off slowly. Maxiell had two key, one to break a 78-all tie and another to give the Pistons a 93 lead and some breathing room with 2 minutes, 43 seconds left the game. Jerebko showed his usual hustle and had seven rebounds and two steals to go with his 20 points. Two times the game, Jerebko made a steal on the defensive end then finished the fast break with a basket on the other end.
Jerebko, who made two 3-point Dan Girardi Jersey baskets, said he got into the groove early on his way to the perfect shooting night. I started off by making that three, and then the second one went and it just kept going, Jerebko said. You’ve got to love those. The Pistons moved the ball well just one day after having just 10 assists a loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Pistons had 20 assists the first half on 23 field goals and finished with 29 assists, one short of their season-high. Rodney Stuckey had 11 assists, while Tayshaun and Richard Hamilton each had five. The Pistons led by as many as 12 points early the second half before the Nets rallied. New Jersey scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to tie the game 78-all, then took the lead 86 with about seven minutes left on a 3-pointer by Devin. But a jumper by Hamilton gave the Pistons 87 lead, and they led the rest of the way. Hamilton had 17 points and five assists, while Villanueva had 12 points on four 3-pointers, all the first half. finished with nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Pistons and Nets are the two worst-shooting and lowest-scoring teams the NBA, but they certainly didn’t have any problems the second quarter. The teams combined to make their first 15 shots from the field — eight by Detroit and seven by New Jersey. The first of the quarter came on a drive to the basket by Gordon with 4 left. The Pistons — the worst 3-point shooting team the NBA — made their first seven 3-point attempts. The first from 3-point range for the Pistons came when Stuckey’s desperation shot with 0 seconds left the first half missed the. The Pistons finished 8-for-12 on 3-point shots. The Pistons shot 52 percent from the field and made more than 50 percent of their field goals for the first time since a Dec. 12 win over State. Devin led the Nets with 21 points, five rebounds and seven assists, while Lopez had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.