The Detroit Pistons will try to snap a two-game losing streak Friday night when they visit the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets just ended a five-game losing streak of their own on Wednesday with a 94-88 road victory in Toronto against the Raptors. Center Brook Lopez was shelved the entire losing streak with a sprained right foot. He is expected back either Friday night or Saturday in Chicago.
On Wednesday, the Nets trailed by eight at the half and in the locker room, Deron Williams gave an impassioned speech.
Brooklyn outscored the Raptors by 12 in the third quarter and shot 52.6 percent from the 3-point line for the game.
"We have to come out better. We need this win," Williams said about the essence of his rally cry at the half. "The first half was over with. We just have to go."
Joe Johnson led the way for the Nets with 23 points on 4-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. C.J. Watson chipped in 16 off the bench and Andray Blatche, who has done an admirable job replacing Lopez, added 14 and nine rebounds. Williams had 12 points.
The Pistons head to Brooklyn the losers of two straight, a road loss in Philly on Monday and a home setback to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, 101-94.
Brandon Knight recorded a team-high 20 points, followed by 18 from Jason Maxiell and 17 from Rodney Stuckey. Greg Monroe struggled to six points on 1- for-9 shooting, but he did grab 12 boards. The Andre Drummond project continues to look good. The rookie big man netted seven points and 11 boards.
But the Nuggets forced 17 turnovers to the nine they committed themselves. The Pistons won the rebounding battle by 14, but the Nuggets bench outscored the Pistons bench by nine.
"This game is about resolve and mental toughness," said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. "It's a six-point game at half, a six-point game at the end of the third quarter, and then we cut it to two, and at the end of the day in the fourth quarter we could not control the penetration off of the pick-and-roll. It's a game of runs; we just didn't have enough to get it done."
Detroit is 2-11 outside The Palace.
The Pistons won two of three meetings last season, including one in New Jersey, where the Nets called home. However, Detroit is 2-6 in its last on the road in this series.