WHAT IT MEANS: The Brooklyn Nets got off to a great start on their eight-game circus road trip, routing the Detroit Pistons, 119-82, on Monday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Brooklyn’s 119 points tied a season-high.
Deron Williams -- who else? -- led the way for the Nets with 31 points and five assists, while Brook Lopez added 18 points and seven rebounds and Joe Johnson chipped in 13 points. None of them played the fourth quarter.
The Nets (39-28), who shot 54.2 percent from the field and led by as many as 43, improved to 23-4 against sub-.500 teams (at time of game played). The Pistons, who shot 1-for-18 from 3-point range, have lost nine straight.
INJURIES: The Nets were without Keith Bogans (ankle) and Kris Humphries (back). With Bogans out, Jerry Stackhouse played for the first time since Jan. 26, recording 10 points in 19 minutes on 5-for-6 shooting. The Bench Mob combined for 49 points. Remember that Sunday night loss to the Atlanta Hawks?
THIRD IS THE GOOD WORD: The Pistons scored 14 points in the third quarter -- as did Williams. As a team, the Nets scored 31. That’s plus-17, folks.
D-WILL’S FIRST: Buoyed by 14 points, three assists and two steals from Williams, the Nets led 36-23 after the first quarter. Williams used his killer crossover to create space and knock down a baseline jumper, while also feeding Gerald Wallace for a rare emphatic alley-oop in transition. Lopez and Johnson each added eight points in the period.
0-FOR-2: Williams still hasn’t dunked this season. He tried to convert his first one of the year in the first quarter -- a one-hander -- but missed. Whatever. He can jump. A good sign.
UP NEXT: Nets at Mavericks on Wednesday night at 8 p.m.