Warriors-Nets Preview

The Brooklyn Nets managed to rebound nicely the two previous

times they suffered back-to-back losses this season.

Again looking to avoid their first three-game skid, the Nets try

to avenge an earlier defeat to the visiting Golden State Warriors

on Friday night.

Brooklyn (11-6) ran off five straight victories each time

following their first two sets of consecutive defeats. The second

of those winning streaks was snapped with a 102-89 loss at Miami on

Saturday, and the Nets followed that up by falling 117-111 to

Oklahoma City on Tuesday as their six-game home win streak

ended.

“(Miami and Oklahoma City) are two teams that have been together

for a couple of years,” said guard Deron Williams, who scored a

season-high 33 points Tuesday. “They’ve won at the highest level

and they know how to play together. We’re still trying to figure

things out.”

The Nets’ latest defeats came against last season’s NBA

finalists, and they were competitive versus the Thunder despite

playing without center Brook Lopez for a third straight game.

Oklahoma City, though, shot 60.6 percent Tuesday.

“A loss is a loss to us,” forward Kris Humphries told the Nets’

official website. “We’re not the Nets of the past few years. No

moral victories. We’re trying to win games. Friday, that’s our

approach: get a win. We can’t go on losing streaks. That’s not what

this year’s about.”

Brooklyn might not have an easy time getting back on track

against the Warriors (11-7), who have won eight of 11 including

102-93 over the Nets on Nov. 21.

Lopez scored 22 points but Brooklyn shot 37.5 percent after the

first quarter and blew a 13-point lead. Deron Williams and Joe

Johnson totaled 22 points and shot 9 of 25.

While there’s a good chance Lopez could sit out again with a

foot injury, the Nets hope veteran Andray Blatche can continue to

produce in his place. Blatche has averaged 17.7 points and 9.3

rebounds in the last three games minus Lopez.

Brooklyn also hopes key reserve Reggie Evans returns after he

missed Tuesday’s game with the flu.

The Nets are 7-2 at home, but face a Warriors team that opened a

season-high seven-game eastern trip with a 104-97 win over Detroit

on Wednesday. Klay Thompson scored 27 points while backcourt mate

Stephen Curry had 22 with 10 assists.

With last season’s foot problems apparently behind him, Curry

(19.1 points per game) has recorded four straight double-doubles.

He’s averaged 21.4 points and 9.6 assists while the Warriors have

won four of five.

“What I love right now is that Steph is in total control out

there on the floor,” coach Mark Jackson said. “When things get

crazy, I don’t feel like I need to call a timeout, because I’m so

comfortable with his ability to run this basketball team.”

Thompson has averaged 20.1 points in seven games, beginning when

he and Curry combined for 48 against the Nets last month.