All around him, his teammates are dropping like flies, unable to play because of this injury or that. But Brook Lopez remains standing for the Nets.

With Deron Williams, Kris Humphries, Anthony Morrow and Damion James all out of the lineup against the Detroit Pistons tonight, at least Nets coach Avery Johnson could count on Lopez being in uniform and in the starting lineup for the 78th consecutive game this season.

Surrounded in the starting lineup tonight by the likes of Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Dan Gadzuric and 10-day contract guy Mario West, Lopez exploded for a career-high 39 points. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, it wasn't enough to save the Nets from a 116-109 loss to the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Lopez hit 14-of-20 shots from the field, and his last basket, with 9:50 remaining, gave the Nets a 97-95 lead. But the Pistons double-teamed him and forced him away from the basket after that, and he took only one shot the rest of the way, as Detroit outscored the Nets 19-11 down the stretch.

"There was a lot of times where he just wasn't open,'' Farmar said of Lopez. "They had a guy in front and in back of him, and other guys have to make plays in that situation, whether it's flash a high-low, or play on the weakside, we have to be able to just do it without thinking."

Farmar had a double-double for the Nets (18 points, 11 assists), but Richard Hamilton had 25 points, Greg Monroe had 20 and 10 rebounds, and Rodney Stuckey came off the bench to score 22, with 10 assists for the Pistons (27-51).

Afterward, Lopez departed the locker room before reporters were allowed in, apparently upset with the way the game ended. Johnson blamed the loss on the Nets' inability to get Lopez the ball for those final nine minutes-plus.