The questions are plentiful, the answers few.

Despite coach Lawrence Frank's return from a family-induced absence, the results stayed the same Monday night: Another Pistons loss, their ninth straight.

This one was a 119-82 beating at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, a team angling for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons played without three starters for most of the evening and it showed.

Frank bemoaned the Pistons' lack of defense during the just-concluded West Coast swing, when the Pistons gave up 112 points a night.

Nets point guard Deron Williams repeatedly broke down Jose Calderon in the first quarter with ankle-breaking crossovers and step-back jumpers, until Calderon took a seat on the bench with flu-like symptoms.

The Pistons were already without Brandon Knight (left ankle) and Andre Drummond (back), although Frank hinted Drummond could return soon.

"We gotta fight a whole lot harder," said Frank, noting this is the Pistons' fifth loss by an enormous margin since the All-Star break. "You have to take the individual challenge."

Williams made it a long night, as he scored 28 points in his first 26 minutes.

"To take it like we did tonight is disappointing," Frank said.

Williams gave it to them all night, scoring 31 points. He helped the Nets charge to a 32-point lead in the third after the Pistons were fortunate to trail by just 14 at the half. Brook Lopez got the Nets off to a hot start with 18 points and seven rebounds in just 22 minutes.

With 13 games left, Frank was asked if this team has any fight left.

"We'd better," he said. "I think our intent to start the game is there and then stuff happens, whatever that stuff is. Fatigue, stuff not going your way. That's the game. Sometimes we fight, sometimes we don't."