Nets-Pistons Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 06, 2013
After opening 2013 with their best stretch of the season, the Brooklyn Nets have fallen way off that pace lately. A visit to Detroit is probably not coming at the most opportune time. Brooklyn will try to snap a string of 10 straight road losses to the Pistons on Wednesday night. The Nets (28-20) were riding high after winning 10 of 11 last month, but things began to turn with consecutive road losses at Memphis and Houston by a combined 37 points Jan. 25-26. They settled for a split of a four-game homestand following Tuesday's 92-83 loss to a Lakers team playing without Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace. "I don't know why, I thought we were ready for this game, but proven wrong tonight," guard Deron Williams said. After shooting a season-low 34.8 percent against the Lakers, Brooklyn hopes to find some rhythm offensively as it tries to win in Detroit for the first time since March 6, 2006. The Nets have reached 100 points just once in their last 10 games, averaging 90.9 over that stretch. They had scored 108.0 per game in their previous seven contests. All-Star center Brook Lopez has been one of the team's few bright spots offensively, averaging 23.7 points in his last three games after scoring 30 against the Lakers. While he's missed three of the last four meetings due to injury, Lopez had a career-high 39 points on 14-of-20 shooting the last time he played in Detroit on April 6, 2011. Brooklyn took the first meeting between these teams this season when Joe Johnson hit a jumper over Tayshaun Prince as time expired to give Brooklyn a 107-105 double-overtime victory on Dec. 14. Johnson had 28 points in that meeting, but his recent slump has coincided with the team's rough stretch. The veteran guard has averaged 12.8 points on 35.9 percent shooting in his last six games. Prince won't be around for this rematch after he was traded to Memphis in a three-team deal that brought Jose Calderon to Detroit last week. In his debut with the Pistons (18-31), Calderon had a team-high 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting in a 99-85 loss at New York on Monday. "They've got to get used to me and I've got to get used to them,'' Calderon said of his new teammates. "It's going to be just time working together, practicing, games, whatever it takes." Calderon faces the Nets for the fourth time this season after averaging 9.0 points against them as a member of the Raptors. Leading scorer Greg Monroe has played well against Brooklyn, scoring 19.3 ppg on 66.7 percent from the field in his last six in the series. Brandon Knight will try to bounce back after finishing with five points on 2-of-10 shooting against the Knicks. He hit five of six from 3-point range and led the Pistons with 22 in the first meeting with the Nets. The Pistons have been far more productive at home, averaging 102.4 points in their last five games there. They've scored just 87.6 per game in their last five on the road. They'll try to continue that trend against a Brooklyn team that has held opponents to 90.8 points in its last four games, but has allowed 110.0 in its last two on the road. Detroit has won 42 of 47 at home against the Nets.
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