The Brooklyn Nets embark on a three-game California trip, starting Sunday with a battle against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
The Nets have been on fire since a 30-point embarrassing loss to the Miami Heat. They've won four straight, capped by a 102-97 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Deron Williams was great in the win, picking up 24 points and eight assists, but center Brook Lopez had an awesome night from the floor. He shot 11-for-14 for 24 points.
"It's a lot of fun to be out there playing with the guys," said Lopez. "We've had three or four great victories in a row now. We keep continuing to improve every game. I think the sky's the limit for us."
During this four-game winning streak, Brooklyn has averaged 101.25 ppg and has held the opposition to an average of 85 ppg. That production, especially on the defensive end, pushed the Nets to seventh in the NBA in opponents' scoring.
And, this run has occurred without starting small forward Gerald Wallace, who is still questionable with a sprained left ankle.
The Kings, on the other hand, are losers of four straight, three of which came at home.
Sacramento is near the bottom of the league in scoring and holding the other team. They are third in steals and fourth in forcing turnovers, but those numbers didn't matter much Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Three Hawks scored 20 points or more and Sacramento fell, 112-96.
The big men played well on Friday. Jason Thompson had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds and center DeMarcus Cousins, who returned from a two- game suspension, grabbed 16 boards.
The Kings have lost players to suspension, personal reasons and injury.
"With everything that's taken place with our team, I have no fault with them. I'm only going to look at myself," said head coach Keith Smart. "We will find a way. The whole thing for me is to get this team to play good basketball with a winning spirit."
The Kings play seven of their next nine at home.
The Nets have won five of the last seven against the Kings, but have dropped 11 of their last 13 in Sacramento.