NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 11th (All times Eastern)
Phoenix Suns (12-25) at Brooklyn Nets (20-15), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Brooklyn Nets have been playing outside basketball of late and they will try to continue that form when they welcome the Phoenix Suns to Barclays Center.
The Nets have won four in a row and are 6-1 since P.J. Carlesimo replaced Avery Johnson as the head coach. Brooklyn has gone over 100 points in every game during this winning streak, averaging 111.7 ppg.
Their most recent win came Tuesday night over the Philadelphia 76ers, 109-89 in Philly. The Nets came out of the locker room in the second half with a 35-14 third quarter and the fourth quarter turned into a laugher.
Five Nets players scored in double figures with Deron Williams leading the way with 22. Andray Blatche chipped in 20 points off the bench, but Reggie Evans was the story. He established a career-high with 23 rebounds, which was nine less than the whole Sixers team.
"When you're in the zone, you're just in the zone," Evans said. "Me being here two years, I know the building. It doesn't matter to me if I score. I just want to do what I do and get wins."
The Suns are in a funk at the moment. They've lost four in a row and 10 of their last 11. Two games into a four-game road swing, the Suns have dropped dangerously close to the bottom of the Western Conference standings, just a game ahead of the New Orleans Hornets.
The Suns own just two road victories all season, which is second-worst in the NBA behind the woeful Washington Wizards. Their last victory away from the desert came on Nov. 27 at the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Obviously it's difficult to win on the road anyways in the NBA," said head coach Alvin Gentry. "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. And no one feels sorry for you in the NBA. So it's got to be us with the execution, and us completing the plays, and us doing the right things."
The Suns did some things right on Wednesday against the Boston Celtics. Phoenix held Paul Pierce to seven points and Rajon Rondo to eight points, but three Celtics scored double figures off the bench and rookie Jared Sullinger grabbed 16 rebounds.
"I think it would have been a little easier to swallow if it had been Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett," admitted Gentry. "But at the end of the day it was the bench that really hurt us the most. I think you know, obviously Sullinger played great."
The Nets, who begin a three-game homestand Friday night, defeated the Suns in Phoenix last season, but the Suns have won 13 of the last 16 in this series, including five in a row on the road.
01/11 10:36:28 ET