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Brooklyn Nets know what they have to do ... win

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Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The Nets returned to New York around dawn Sunday morning after losing the last two games of the western swing of their 8-game road trip. They still have to play the Cavaliers on Wednesday before they set foot again on the Barclays Center court Thursday.

Are they happy about the 4-3 record so far? Rod Boone says, not really.

"I liked where we were for most of this trip," interim coach P.J. Carlesimo told beat writers. "To me, you are going up a hill. You can go up and you can go down. We were going up pretty steadily for a while, but we took a couple of steps back the last two nights. I don't think we fell off to where we were before the trip started. But we took a couple of steps back from where we were."

They began Sunday four games behind the Knicks (five in the loss column) and a game and a half ahead of the Hawks (two in the loss column) with a relatively easy schedule. Of their last nine games, six are against teams with under .500 records (all with 30 or fewer wins). The other three are against Eastern Conference playoff teams, the Bulls, Pacers and Celtics.

"Yeah, we've got to win. We've got to win out," Deron Williams said. "I think that's how we've got to think. It might not happen, but it could happen. We get hot at the right time and get going."