WHAT IT MEANS: Eight was enough. The short-handed Nets -- who had just eight healthy players because of injuries -- barely took care of the lowly Pistons, winning 99-96 on Wednesday night at Prudential Center to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Nets (8-15, 3-6 home) shot 48.1 percent from the field, went 8-for-23 from the 3-point line and won the rebounding battle, 44-31. The Pistons (4-20) have now lost seven in a row and became the first NBA team this season to all three games of a back-to-back-to-back stretch. Brandon Knight missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game.
D-WILL: After a quiet first half, Deron Williams began to take over in the third quarter. The All-Star point guard scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half -- using his unstoppable crossover dribble to set up his dazzling array of midrange pullups. He also added nine assists and shot 12-for-21 from the field.
TURNING POINT: D-Will's 3-pointer that put the Nets up 93-88 with 4:47 left in the fourth quarter. Later, he found Keith Bogans for a key layup -- Bogans' first two points in his Nets debut -- with 1:16 left to make it 98-92.
THREE-WILL: Shawne Williams had all of his season-high tying 11 points in the second quarter. He hit three 3-pointers, and the Nets closed the first half on a 13-5 run to take an 11-point lead into the locker room. Shelden Williams had seven of his 11 rebounds in the first quarter, while rookie Jordan Williams set career highs in points (nine), rebounds (eight) and minutes (20).
NOT-SO-FUN FACT: The Nets have used 12 different starting lineups in their first 23 games.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: Seven Nets scored at least nine points.
UP NEXT: Nets vs. Timberwolves, 7:30 p.m. Friday.