The Nets play the Western Conference's worst team Sunday night in what could be a classic trap game. The Nets are coming off a tough loss in Los Angeles Saturday and the Suns were embarrassed Friday and looking for redemption. The Nets also could be without Joe Johnson who suffered a quad contusion vs. the Clippers. It's the Nets fourth road game on their long road trip.
Phoenix is 2-8 in its last 10. They've also lost six of their last seven, 17 of their last 23 and most recently, dropped back-to-back home games, including Friday's loss to the Timberwolves, after winning four of six before that. The Suns, who played without Marcin Gortat and Jermaine O'Neal, were routed 117-86 by the T'wolves. Both are likely out for the Nets, leaving Luis Scola and Hamed Haddadi as the center rotation against Brook Lopez. Jared Dudley, who was out with a stomach virus, is expected to return vs. Brooklyn.
How bad were things Friday? The Suns gathered for a players-only huddle at the start of the third quarter. P.J. Tucker, who's become an emotional leader for Phoenix, spoke Saturday about the challenge posed by the Nets.
"Brooklyn isn’t going to come in here thinking, ‘Oh, they don’t have any bigs, so we’re going to take it easy.’ They’re going to come in and try to knock our heads off, so we have to stand up and get ready to go fight," said the 6'5" Tucker.
For the Nets, it's an opportunity to bounce back. But with Johnson hurting, they may have to go to their bench for help. C.J. Watson is likely to start, with MarShon Brooks filling in. Brooks played three minutes in L.A. It appears that Kris Humphries is back in the rotation, playing 10 minutes vs. the Clippers to none for Mirza Teletovic. Hump had the block of the night in the NBA, but didn't score and grabbed only two rebounds, both offensive.
The Nets need two wins to tie the franchise record for road wins, 20, set in 2005-06. They blew out the Suns early in the season by 20, with Johnson leading the charge.
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