The Utah Jazz are looking to make sure it stays that way by continuing their success in the series.
The Nets will try to begin shaking out of their recent funk by beating the visiting Jazz for just the second time in over four years Tuesday night.
Brooklyn entered this month 11-4 and tied with New York atop the Atlantic Division, but the Nets have dropped six of eight while allowing an average of 100.1 points -- an increase of nearly 10 per game.
Playing at their new arena hasn't helped, either. Brooklyn is 1-4 at home this month after winning seven of its first eight at Barclays Center.
The Nets (13-10) did beat Detroit 107-105 in double overtime at home Friday, but they lost 83-82 at Chicago the next night. Brooklyn shot 38.7 percent while committing 18 turnovers.
"Had we done a better job of taking care of the ball, especially down the stretch, we could have come out on the winning end," coach Avery Johnson said.
That's rarely been the case against the Jazz (13-12), as Brooklyn has lost six of the past seven meetings while surrendering an average of 104.6 points on 49.4 percent shooting.
The Nets fell 105-84 to Utah in New Jersey in the last meeting March 26. Deron Williams had 17 points and 11 assists in that matchup with his former team, and he enters this contest averaging 20.7 points and 9.6 assists over the past seven games after scoring 11.4 and shooting 32.1 percent over the previous seven.
Brook Lopez missed both meetings with the Jazz last season due to foot and ankle injuries, and he appears to have gotten over his latest ailment. Lopez had 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against the Bulls in his second game back after missing seven with a sprained right foot.
Utah, 4-10 on the road and opening a four-game trip against Eastern Conference teams, is trying to avoid an overall three-game skid following Saturday's 99-86 loss to Memphis. The Jazz wasted a 10-point halftime lead by shooting 3 for 20 in the third quarter as they were outscored 28-10 en route to falling to 9-2 at home.
"This has got to be the motivator," said center Al Jefferson, who had 21 points and eight rebounds. "I think we got too comfortable at home. This proves we can lose at home. But it shows you can win on the road."
Jefferson hasn't been very productive on the road, averaging 15.1 points compared to 20.7 at home.
He leads the Jazz with 10.3 rebounds per game and is averaging 21.7 points and 10.0 boards over his last 10 meetings with the Nets.
Paul Millsap averaged 21.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in two meetings with the Nets last season.
Utah has averaged 104.5 points in winning four of six meetings against teams from the East.