NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets reserve guard Wayne Ellington was mired in a deep shooting slump before Sunday night's game against the Detroit Pistons. After all, the veteran had scored just 10 points in the prior six games. He was shooting 31 percent from the floor and 21 percent from 3-point range.
"I've been struggling to make shots," Ellington said.
But on the way to the Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon, something was different.
"I had a little different aura about me," Ellington said. "I had a positive attitude. I knew I wasn't going to be down on myself and if I got a chance, I'd make my shots."
Maybe it was the fact that it was Ellington's 28th birthday that had something to do with his upbeat approach.
"Probably," said Ellington, who scored 12 crucial points, all in the second half, to help lead the Nets to an 87-83 win, just the Nets' third win in their last nine games, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process.
"I felt real good today," Ellington said of his seasonal high (previous high for the year was six points). "I don't know why. My confidence was up. It felt good to make shots."
Forward Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to pace the Nets (4-13) to the sluggish, come-from-behind win at the Barclays Center.
Nets center Brook Lopez shook off a horrid start to score 15 points, including one clutch free throw with 29.8 seconds left.
"Wayne and Shane (Larkin, who added nine points) gave us a huge lift and made shots when we needed them," said Lopez, who missed 12 of his first 14 shots. "We knew we were going to have to win it on the defensive end. We got some stops after we got the lead. Then we made shots."
The Pistons (8-9) lost their second game in a row.
Brooklyn trailed for most of the game but came storming back in the fourth quarter, erasing a 10-point deficit in the process. Ellington, who played sparingly in the first half, keyed the 13-2 run that gave the Nets the lead for good with two huge jump shots.
"We were able to battle back," said Nets head coach Lionel Hollins said. "We did a good job of not turning the ball over for a long time. We were able to get enough stops to win it."
Hollins said that the NBA is just a strange league.
"It's interesting how the league is," Hollins said. "We were very inconsistent tonight and somehow we won. Last night (against Cleveland), we played well and didn't win. Last week we played well in Oakland (against Golden State) and didn't win. We had enough stretches tonight to win and that was the ball game."
The Pistons got 20 points and 18 rebounds from center Andre Drummond, his 15th double-double in 17 games.
Guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope paced the Pistons with 21 points. Forward Stanley Johnson added 10 off the bench, but the Pistons were hurt by an off night from guard Reggie Jackson, who connected on an uncharacteristic four of 20 from the floor.
The Pistons took control of the game midway through the second quarter and held a 41-35 halftime lead, thanks to eight different Detroit players making their way into the scorebook.
The Pistons increased the lead in the third period, thanks to the acrobatic play of Drummond, who collected an alley-oop pass to dunk over Jack, then made a steal and drive to score a three-point play to give Detroit its biggest lead at 58-48 with 5:18 remaining in the third.
Drummond also had an amazing three offensive rebounds in one sequence, showing his domination on the backboards.
NOTES: The Pistons were once again without G Brandon Jennings (torn left Achilles tendon) and G Jodie Meeks (right foot fracture). ... Detroit has started the same five players (Drummond, G Reggie Jackson, G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, F Ersan Ilyasova and F Marcus Morris) in all 17 games this season. ... Nets C Lopez is one of only two players averaging more than 20 points and eight rebounds per game this season. The other is Pelicans PF Anthony Davis. ... The Nets avoided their second losing streak of at least four games this season. They dropped the first seven games of this season before gaining a win at Houston on Nov. 11.