Guard Isiah Thomas scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, leading the Detroit Pistons to a 113-111 National Basketball Association victory over the New Jersey Nets last night in Pontiac, Mich.
Pistons guard John Long (21 points) broke a 108-108 tie with a layup with 48 seconds left and made a free throw with five seconds remaining when the Nets' Micheal Ray Richardson was ejected with his second technical foul. Thomas made two free throws with four seconds left before New Jersey's Mickey Johnson made a three-point field goal with two seconds remaining.
For the Nets, center-forward Darryl Dawkins scored 26 points, center Mike Gminski had 19 and Richardson 18.
The Pistons led, 25-22, after the first quarter as Tripucka had 10 points and Thomas five assists. The lead changed hands 15 times in the second period before the Pistons' 56-55 halftime margin.
Richardson scored 13 points in the third quarter as the Nets moved ahead, 86-83. Detroit trailed by 99-91 midway through the fourth quarter before Thomas hit a three-point field goal and Long made a free throw and a basket to pull the Pistons into a 101-101 tie with 4:55 to play.