The suddenly resurgent Brooklyn Nets aim for their fourth straight win when they visit Detroit on Friday in the second half of a back-to-back set.
A laughingstock amid a 5-14 start that included a slew of injuries, the Nets have showed signs of a turnaround, most notably a 102-93 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday that was not as close as the final score would indicate. Brooklyn must hold its breath on another injury, however, as star center Brook Lopez left the victory in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle.
This has been an incredibly streaky month for the Pistons, who ended November with two straight losses before winning their first four games in December. They followed up that winning streak — which vaulted them back to .500 — with three more losses, including a 111-106 overtime setback at New Orleans on Wednesday. Detroit has allowed an average of 114 points during the slide.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), FSN Detroit (Detroit)
ABOUT THE NETS (8-14): Lopez told reporters after the game Thursday that he would travel with the team and hopes to play. If he can, it would mean plenty of minutes against Pistons big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, who have combined for 25 double doubles this season. Brooklyn may choose to play it safe since Lopez, who leads the Nets in scoring, missed seven games last month with an injury to the same ankle.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (10-13): Detroit can scrap with anyone, leading the league in offensive rebounding and steals. However, it continues to struggle to match opponents from the perimeter. The Pistons have shot 29 percent from 3-point range during the three-game slide while allowing opponents to find success 41.3 percent of the time.
1. G Rodney Stuckey scored 27 points to lead the Pistons to a 109-97 win at Brooklyn on Nov. 24.
2. The Nets have won three of their last four road games.
3. Brooklyn is shooting 84 percent from the line during its winning streak.