AUBURN HILLS. Mich. (AP) — Joe Johnson scored 15 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and the Brooklyn Nets earned their first victory of the season, beating the Detroit Pistons 102-90 Saturday night.
The Pistons (0-3) got 18 points and 11 rebounds from Greg Monroe, who was making his season debut after a two-game suspension for a drunk-driving arrest, but shot 1 for 17 on 3-pointers.
Kevin Garnett added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets (1-1), while Deron Williams scored 15 points.
The Nets led 59-47 after a first half that saw them score at least 25 points against Pistons small forward Kyle Singler. Singler struggled against Johnson, who had 17 in the first half, and was beaten badly by Williams for three straight baskets as the Nets pulled away in the second quarter.
The Pistons were able to protect Singler a little more in the third quarter, and with Monroe available, they were able to withstand Andre Drummond’s third straight game with foul trouble.
That let them stay within 81-75 at the end of three, and they took an 84-83 lead when Caron Butler hit three free throws with 8:49 to play. Drummond, though, picked up his fifth foul moments later, and Johnson scored the next seven points to put Brooklyn back in front.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ended the Nets’ run with a jumper, but the Pistons weren’t able to do anything with Johnson.
Nets: Garnett was booed every time he touched the ball, just as he has been at the Palace of Auburn Hills since the Celtics beat the Pistons in the 2008 Eastern Conference finals. . Nets coach Lionel Hollins has beaten Detroit 10 times in his last 11 tries, with the previous 10 all coming with Memphis.
Pistons: The game was the official debut of the multi-million dollar renovations of the 26-year-old Palace of Auburn Hills, highlighted by a massive six-screen videoboard at center court. The new technology was used as part of a halftime tribute to Detroit that included a surprise appearance by Kid Rock. . The Pistons shot 25 percent (4-16) outside the paint in the first half, including 1 for 9 on 3-pointers.
Nets: Host Oklahoma City on Monday.
Pistons: Host New York on Wednesday.
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