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Nets crush Pistons to open 8-game road trip

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Deron Williams scored 31 points in 28 minutes, and the Brooklyn Nets routed the hapless Detroit Pistons 119-82 Monday night in the opener of their eight-game road trip.

Detroit lost its ninth straight and fell to 2-13 since the All-Star break. Pistons coach Lawrence Frank returned after missing six games to be with his seriously ill wife. Frank is planning to return to New Jersey before Detroit plays Friday in Miami.

The Nets, coming off a 12-point loss to Atlanta on Sunday, pulled within a half-game of New York in the Atlantic Division, with the Knicks playing later Monday at Utah.

Brook Lopez added 18 points and seven rebounds, while former Pistons guard Jerry Stackhouse had 10 points in his first game since Jan. 26. The Nets, who led by as many as 43, finished with six players in double figures.

The Nets didn’t need long to take advantage of Detroit’s porous defense, which has allowed an average of 107 points during the losing streak. Brooklyn led 36-23 after the first quarter, thanks to 14 points and three assists by Williams.

It didn’t get any better for the Pistons, who were playing for the first time after a four-game West Coast trip. Brooklyn led by as many as 20 points in the second quarter and 33 in the third before cruising to the easy win.

Notes: Jose Calderon left at the end of the first quarter with flu-like symptoms and did not return. ... MarShon Brooks converted a four-point play in the second quarter when Kim English was whistled for not letting him land safely on a 3-pointer. ... Frank said before the game that rookie Andre Drummond is making slow progress in his return from a stress fracture in his back. The Pistons hope Drummond, who has been out since Feb. 8, will return before season’s end. ... Kyle Singler intercepted a pass and banked in a 30-footer at the halftime buzzer, but the shot came just after the clock expired.

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