If there's one thing that rings true this morning, after the NJ Nets managed to eke out a win over the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, taking a 3 games to 2 lead in the series, it's that winning is ugly. Very ugly. It took three overtimes, tons of missed free throws, and 8 players fouling out for the game to end. But, hey, at least the Nets won. While Net Richard Jefferson led with 31 points, Brian Scalabrine, Gothamist's favorite reserve (how many reserves do you know are nicknamed after baby cow meat?*), helped the Nets with four three-pointers for a career high of 17 points (his post-season career total was 19 points coming into the game). But, man, that three-pointer by Chauncey Billups at the end of regulation - wow.

The Detroit Free-Press' Mitch Albom marvels at Veal, calling him a "big, chunky redheaded bench player"; the Times notes that Scalabrine, though unlikely hero, isn't the best defensive player. Plus, the Star-Ledger on Scalabrine's hot hand. And the Gothamist-Whatevs bet on this series. Game 6 is tomorrow night in East Rutherford.

*Here's the genesis of Scalabrine's nickname.