Nets aim to end skid against Drummond-led Pistons
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NEW YORK -- Three straight losses put the Brooklyn Nets in the position of rebounding figuratively and literally when they encounter Andre Drummond around the basket.
Looking to halt a three-game losing streak, the Nets hope to contain Drummond Wednesday night when they host the Detroit Pistons.
Two weeks ago, Drummond helped the Pistons open the season with a 103-100 win by getting 24 points and 20 rebounds. It was his fifth game with at least 20 rebounds against the Nets and his second 20-20 game against Brooklyn.
Since entering the league as Detroit's first-round pick in 2012, Drummond has 296 double-doubles. Twelve are against the Nets and Detroit is 8-4 in those games.
Brooklyn is 2-5 after dropping close games at New Orleans on Friday and to Golden State Sunday before absorbing a 115-96 loss at Madison Square Garden to the New York Knicks on Monday. During its three-game losing streak, Brooklyn is getting outrebounded 146-123 and overall it is amongst the league's worst teams in rebounding at 43 boards per game.
"The stat that counts is the more aggressive team has the advantage," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "The Knicks were the more aggressive team, they were the more physical team, and that's just the story of the game. Two teams colliding. They were more forceful and more aggressive. Can't do that in this league if you don't bring the physicality to the game."
The Nets struggled with physicality at times two weeks ago when Detroit scored 56 points in the paint while Drummond and Blake Griffin combined for 50 points. At least then, they had a chance to win because Caris LeVert scored 27 points.
LeVert is averaging 18.9 points but on Monday he was 2 of 11 and held to four points after getting at least 20 points in four of the first six games.
"That's definitely an adjustment for me," LeVert said. "The great thing about the NBA, it's not like football where you've got to wait a full week to think about it every single day. We get to play again on Wednesday against a good team who's been playing well. Another challenge to get better."
Beating the Nets began Detroit's first 4-0 start since the 2008-09 season. This time, the Pistons enter off consecutive losses to the Boston Celtics.
On Saturday, Detroit trailed by as many as 29 in a 109-89 home loss to Boston and Tuesday a late comeback fell short in a 108-105 loss at Boston. In the first game against the Celtics, Drummond did not get a double-double for the first time this season but Tuesday, he finished with 17 points and 15 boards while Griffin posted 24 points and 15 boards.
"They're the top defensive team in the league," Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. "I thought we executed as well as we could against one of the top defensive teams."
Ultimately Detroit was done in by missing 13 of 17 shots and getting outscored 25-13 in the third quarter.
"We had our chances to end it starting the way we played in the third quarter," Casey said. "I loved our fight, like I told the team, we put that type of intensity and fight every night and that's what we ask. You put yourself into position and that's what this league is about."
While Detroit is eighth in the league in rebounding at 47.7 per game, it is 26th in the league at 3-point percentage at 32.3 percent. The Pistons were 8 of 31 Tuesday and will attempt to improve its perimeter game against a team who is allowing a league-low 24.9 percent from 3-point range.
Another Piston hoping for a better showing is Reggie Jackson. Jackson was held to eight points on 2 of 9 shooting and did not play in the fourth quarter when the Pistons nearly overcame a 14-point deficit.
Updated October 31, 2018