Mired in their longest slide (two games) since P.J. Carlesimo took over as interim coach, the Brooklyn Nets hope a return home will cure their recent woes.
The Nets will start a four-game homestand Monday night versus the Orlando Magic and suffered their second straight loss Saturday in a 119-106 defeat at the hands of the Houston Rockets. Rockets All-Star James Harden led the charge with 29 points and Deron Williams countered with 27 for the Nets, but scored 20 in the opening period.
Williams added 11 assists to his total and is 27 assists shy of 5,000 in his career. Brook Lopez recorded 21 points and seven rebounds for Brooklyn, which is 12-4 since Carlesimo took over for the fired Avery Johnson.
"A lot of the game we had trouble finding the combination of people to get us offense, defense and rebounding," Carlesimo said.
Brooklyn has won seven in a row at Barclays Center and owns a 16-7 record in front of the home crowd. A victory tonight would give the Nets their longest home winning streak since a nine-game run from March 15-April 6, 2006.
If the Nets defeat the struggling Magic, it would mark the first time in franchise history that a team won 11 games in two separate months in the same season (11 wins in November).
The Nets will also host the Heat, Bulls and Lakers on the homestand.
Orlando has lost five in a row and 16 of its last 18 games, and will open a five-game road trip Monday against the Nets, Knicks, Celtics, Bucks and 76ers.
The Magic dropped a 104-102 decision versus the Detroit Pistons on Sunday as J.J. Redick made eight 3-pointers en route to 31 points. Jameer Nelson and E'Twaun Moore had 18 points apiece for Orlando.
"It just seems like it's getting more and more frustrating," Redick said. "The way we're losing is tough."
Orlando turned the ball over 15 times, leading to 21 Detroit points.
In injury news for the Magic, guard Arron Afflalo had just four points in 26 minutes against Detroit and is questionable for Monday with a strained left calf. Afflalo leads the team with 16.7 ppg.
The Magic have lost the first three meetings with Brooklyn this season after winning the previous 10 games in this series. The Nets haven't swept a four- game season set with the Magic since 2003-04.