After refusing to enter a game five days ago, Rodney Stuckey went to his coach and said he'd play until the buzzer.

In a game deemed by many as more important to lottery positioning than anything else, Stuckey emerged from his two-game punishment to lead the Pistons (27-51) to a 116-109 win over the Nets Wednesday at The Palace. He finished with 22 points and 10 assists.

Stuckey's inspired effort, where he played the entire second half and made big plays down the stretch, made Pistons coach John Kuester feel vindicated about his decision to bench Stuckey.

In a rare moment of candor, Kuester, who usually keeps his feelings close, explained his thought process.

"Rodney Stuckey is an integral part of this organization," Kuester said. "And I think it's important that messages have to be sent. If you're not going to demand, and be committed every time you step out on that court, it's not about one individual, it's about the team."

Stuckey hit big jumpers in the fourth to keep New Jersey at bay, after Detroit went to a zone defense to contain center Brook Lopez.

"I let my emotions get in the way," Stuckey said. "I'm still a young player and I'm passionate about the game. I got punished.

"Whenever I'm not out there on the court with my teammates, (it's bad) because I want to be out there. I got punished, everything is good now and let's move on."

Lopez was a load inside, having his way with whomever defended him. He appeared on his way to a 50-point night, surpassing his career high of 37 early in the fourth. He scored his 39th point with 9:49 left, with the Nets leading 97-95.