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Nets 119, Pistons 82

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Deron Williams had 31 points and five assists as the Brooklyn Nets handed the Detroit Pistons their ninth straight loss, 119-82 at The Palace on Monday.

Williams reached the 30-point mark for the fourth time this season despite playing just 28 minutes. Brook Lopez supplied 18 points and seven rebounds for Brooklyn (39-28), which began an eight-game road trip, tying its longest in franchise history. Andray Blatche added 15 points and eight rebounds as the Nets pulled within a half-game of New York for the Atlantic Division lead, pending the result of the Knicks' Monday night game at Utah.

Brooklyn shot 54.2 percent from the field while winning by its second-biggest margin this season. The Nets beat the Orlando Magic by 39 on Nov. 9. Detroit suffered its worst home loss.

Will Bynum led Detroit (23-46) with 18 points, and Greg Monroe had 17. The Pistons' last lead was 6-5. Detroit's starting point guard, Jose Calderon, played only eight minutes because of flu-like symptoms.

The Pistons allowed opponents to shoot 50.8 percent during the first eight games of the streak and were even more generous Monday. The Nets shot 57.9 percent while taking a 59-45 halftime lead.

Williams scored 14 first-quarter points as his club raced to a 36-23 lead. Ex-Piston Jerry Stackhouse, who hadn't played since Jan. 26, sparked Brooklyn with six second-quarter points. Williams gave the Nets their biggest lead of the half, 59-39, with a 3-pointer before Detroit closed the quarter with six unanswered points.

The Pistons tried a zone in the third quarter, but that failed to swing the momentum. Williams and Joe Johnson made back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 80-58. Williams stretched the lead to 30 later in the quarter with another 3-pointer.

NOTES: Pistons guard Brandon Knight missed his third consecutive game with a left ankle sprain. Brooklyn guard Keith Bogans also sat out with a left ankle injury. ... Pistons coach Lawrence Frank returned to the sideline after missing the previous six games to be with his ailing wife, who underwent major surgery for an undisclosed condition in New Jersey. "This is a great organization, and they told me to take off as much time as needed," he said. "At some point, you feel like you have to go back to work and pray the other stuff takes care of itself." ... Detroit rookie center Andre Drummond, who has missed 19 games with a stress fracture in his back, participated in the team's shootaround. Frank wants Drummond to return before the season ends to gain more experience. ... The teams complete their four-game season series on April 17 in Brooklyn. ... Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo doesn't think his team is playoff-ready after going 12-9 in the past 21 games. "To get to the playoffs, to win in the playoffs, we've got to develop a much better level of consistency," he said. ... The Nets are 22-3 when holding opponents below 90 points.
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