The Brooklyn Nets realize they can't win every game and will try to bounce back Saturday night against the Houston Rockets in the finale of a four-game road trip.
The Nets dropped a lopsided 101-77 decision at Memphis Friday as All-Star snubs Brook Lopez and Deron Williams finished with 18 and 12 points, respectively, in defeat. Williams added six assists and five rebounds before leaving with a leg injury for Brooklyn, which entered the game having won three straight and 10 of its last 11 contests.
"They just took it to us," said Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo, who fell to 12-3 since taking over for the fired Avery Johnson. "They're one of the best teams in the league and they showed us why."
Carlesimo said that Williams could have returned had the scoring margin been a little closer. The coach, whose three losses have come on the road, opted to let the reserves close out the rare setback in recent weeks.
Brooklyn is 2-1 on the trek and 10-10 as the visitor this season. It will start a four-game homestand Monday versus the Orlando magic.
The Nets have improved significantly under Carlesimo and sit 1 1/2 games behind the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead. They're also fourth overall in the East standings.
Houston hopes to have righted the ship with two wins in the past three games since dropping seven in a row.
The Rockets watched film this week on their consistent winning ways from about a month ago and cruised to a 100-82 triumph Friday night at New Orleans. All- Star James Harden ended with a game-high 30 points, eight assists and four rebounds, while Patrick Patterson posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards for Houston, which got 13 points, eight assists and six steals from Jeremy Lin.
"We moved the ball and we didn't play selfish," Houston forward Chandler Parsons said. "Our defense was great, too."
Carlos Delfino buried 4-of-6 3-pointers en route to 14 points off the bench and Houston hit 11-of-21 from beyond the arc.
After Saturday's home tilt with the Nets, Houston, which is 14-8 in Space City, will visit Utah and Denver.
Houston won the only meeting with the Nets a season ago, posting a 112-106 road victory on March 10, and is unbeaten in the last 11 games in this series.
The Rockets are 16-3 in the previous 19 matchups with the Nets, who are winless in five straight trips to east Texas.