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Nets tune up Pistons in Motown, 119-82

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - The Brooklyn Nets didn't get a bye on their schedule Monday night. It just seemed that way.

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The Nets led by as many as 43 points on the road, routing the hapless Detroit Pistons 119-82 on Monday night.

``This was great,'' said Brook Lopez, who had 18 points and seven rebounds. ``We wanted to come and really control the entire game, and we had all four quarters. This is how we needed to start off our road trip.''

The Nets had lost two of three, including a 12-point defeat to Atlanta on Sunday, but weren't challenged by Detroit. Deron Williams led the way with 31 points in 28 minutes while former Piston Jerry Stackhouse had 10 points in his first game since Jan. 26.

The Nets, who led by as many as 43, finished with six players in double figures to Detroit's four.

``It is hard to be critical of anything,'' Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo said. ``We did a poor job of closing out the first half, so that was one mistake. I thought we were very focused and we played very well.''

Pistons coach Lawrence Frank returned to the team after missing six games to be with his seriously ill wife, but it didn't save his team from a ninth straight loss. After the game, he shook his head with a wry smile when he was asked if his team had any fight left.

``We better,'' he said.

Detroit is now 2-13 since the All-Star break, allowing an average of 105.9 points per game. In the last five games, that number has gotten even worse, jumping to 113.6.

``We've got to fight a whole lot harder,'' Frank said. ``It's OK if you have a couple games like this in a season, but this has been going on since the break. I think we start the game with the right intent, but as soon as something goes wrong, no matter what that something is, we lose our intensity.''

The Nets didn't take long to give the Pistons a reason to quit, taking a 36-23 lead after the first quarter, thanks to 14 points and three assists by Williams.

``He's the brain of our offense, so it is always good when he gets it going,'' Reggie Evans said. ``It doesn't matter if he's shooting it or passing it. He's feeling really good right now.''

It didn't get much better for the Pistons, who were playing for the first time after a four-game West Coast trip. Brooklyn led by as many as 20 in the second quarter and 33 in the third before cruising to the easy win.

NOTES: Frank is planning to return to his home in New Jersey before Detroit plays Friday in Miami. ... Jose Calderon left at the end of the first quarter with flu-like symptoms and did not return. ... MarShon Brooks picked up a four-point play in the second quarter when Kim English was whistled for not letting him land safely on a 3-pointer. ... Frank said before the game that rookie Andre Drummond is making slow progress in his return from a stress fracture in his back. The Pistons hope Drummond, who has been out since Feb. 8, will return before season's end. ... Kyle Singler intercepted a pass and banked in a 30-footer at the halftime buzzer, but the shot came just after the clock expired.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
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