The Brooklyn Nets couldn’t have started off their eight-game circus road trip any better.
On Monday night, they picked up their second-largest victory of the season, routing the Detroit Pistons, 119-82, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Nets (39-28), who moved within a half game of the New York Knicks for first place in the Atlantic Division standings, led by as many as 45. Their 119 points tied a season-high.
“We really disappointed ourselves last night,” Deron Williams told the YES Network, referring to the team’s 105-93 to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night. “This was a big game for us. We needed to win this game, and we came out and played that way.”
Williams led the Nets with 31 points in 28 minutes -- scoring 14 in both the first and third quarters. It was his fourth 30-plus point game this season. Since the All-Star break, D-Will is averaging 23.4 points on 47.6 percent shooting -- 46 percent from 3-point range.
“I feel a lot more comfortable out there,” Williams said. “I think as team we feel more comfortable with each other. Our chemistry is getting better. We just want to keep building on that.”
Brook Lopez added 18 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes, while Joe Johnson had 13 points in 24 minutes. None of Brooklyn’s big three played in the fourth quarter. The Bench Mob, led by Jerry Stackhouse, combined for 49 points. Stackhouse, playing for the first time since Jan. 26, had 10 points on 5-for-6.
As a team, the Nets had just nine turnovers; they are 20-6 when they commit 13 or fewer turnovers. Meanwhile, they limited the Pistons to 1-for-18 from 3-point range.
One down. Seven to go.
“Hopefully this performance jumpstarts this trip,” Williams said. “If we can the way we did tonight -- offensively and defensively -- we’ll be fine.”