Maybe New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was onto something when he said the trade talk surrounding most of the players on his team was costing the franchise victories. For the second straight game since the Russian billionaire pulled out of trade talks with the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony, the Nets put together a solid top-to-bottom performance in beating the Detroit Pistons 89-74.
The Nets have now won as many games (12) as they did all of last season.
"Sweet!" Devin Harris exclaimed after being reminded the team reached last season's win total.
Brook Lopez once again led the way for New Jersey, scoring 15 points in 27 minutes, but the bench provided the punch of offense for the Nets. The home team's reserves outscored the Pistons 41-24, including 11 by Kris Humphries and 10 for Anthony Morrow in his first game back with New Jersey since December 14.
On the defensive end, it's hard to find a game this season the Nets have been better. When you hold a team to 74 points, there isn't much you have to do on offense to win the game. New Jersey held Detroit to less than 20 points in three of the four quarters Friday night.
The Pistons dressed Rip Hamilton, but he was held out for the sixth straight game. Tayshaun Prince had a game-high 16 points while Rodney Stuckey added 14.
Two of the Nets 12 wins have come against the Pistons, both at the Prudential Center. New Jersey has now won five of their last seven at home overall.
Avery Johnson's crew won't have much time to celebrate with Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks visiting Newark Saturday night.