Suns-Nets Preview

The Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets dropped their final five home games to the Phoenix Suns when they were based in New Jersey, but that streak seems poised to end.

The Nets can match a season high with their fifth straight win Friday night when they look to hand the Suns a fifth straight defeat and 12th in a row on the road.

Phoenix (12-25) has taken the last five road matchups in this series heading into its first visit to Brooklyn (20-15). The Suns, however, had Steve Nash for those contests and were a much better team than this one - Phoenix enters with the Western Conference's second-worst record, having lost 10 of 11 games overall.

This is the Suns' longest road skid since a 14-game slide from Jan. 3-Feb. 17, 1984.

"Like I said to the guys, no one's going to dig us out of this, we've got to dig ourselves out of this," coach Alvin Gentry said. "And no one feels sorry for you in the NBA."

Brooklyn, meanwhile, has won six of seven games under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo entering the opener of a three-game homestand. The Nets have beaten only one winning team in that stretch, including victories over the league's worst teams in Washington, Cleveland and Charlotte, and won't be complaining about facing another similar foe.

"We had a schedule that was favorable to us and we took advantage of it," Carlesimo said.

Brooklyn is now 14-0 against teams with losing records at the time played after its second straight 20-point win, 109-89 at Philadelphia on Tuesday. Deron Williams scored 22 points and Andray Blatche added 20 just hours after he was questioned by Philadelphia police as part of a sexual assault investigation at an upscale hotel.

Carlesimo said he did not expect the situation to distract Blatche, averaging 14.5 points on 56.8 percent shooting during this win streak.

"He's been playing well and I expect him to play well today,'' the coach said Tuesday.

Reggie Evans grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds as the Nets held a 50-32 cushion on the glass.

"It don't matter to me about scoring," said Evans, who had two points. "We've got guys in here that can go out and score 100 points every night. When I score, it's a bonus. I just want to go out, do what I do, and get wins."

The Suns are still one win shy of becoming the fourth NBA team to reach 2,000. Phoenix is halfway through a four-game trip after falling 87-79 to Boston on Wednesday, shooting 39.3 percent and finishing with its third-lowest point total of the season.

Luis Scola scored 16 points and Goran Dragic chipped in 14 for Phoenix.

"We always have lapses. Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it happens later,'' Scola said. "Even in the games we've won, we play this way."

The Nets are shooting 46.6 percent under Carlesimo as they face a Suns defense allowing opponents to shoot 47.1 percent - the West's worst mark.

Friday's game is a homecoming for Suns reserve guard Sebastian Telfair, a Brooklyn native who will play in the borough for the first time.

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