Brook Lopez was the lone starter available for the Nets in their past two games, and he did what he could, scoring a career-high 39 points in the loss Wednesday to Detroit, followed by a game-high 27 points in the loss Friday to the Knicks.

But as the season winds down and the rest of his teammates seem to be dropping like flies to one injury or another, Lopez said he hasn't felt pressure to carry the team when he's the only go-to guy in the lineup every night.

"I'm going to try to come out and play my same game, regardless," Lopez said after the 116-93 loss to the Knicks. "I think we're learning a lot right now, but if there was any time I should have felt pressure, it was when we were down to eight guys last year, right? That was rough."

It's been a rough season this year, too, what with all the Melo-Drama, the eventual acquisition of star point guard Deron Williams, the subsequent injuries and all the nightly losing.

But as the season enters the final week, Lopez seems to be playing with a carefree attitude he hadn't shown for much of the season.

It showed in the Detroit game, when he had 20 points in the first half and coach Avery Johnson challenged him at halftime to put out the same effort in the second half. And he did.

"I think it's just more energy and more focus, just not being so lackadaisical with my post moves in the second half, and trying to go to the bucket and make sure it goes in," Lopez said in explaining why he was able to sustain his dominance for the whole game lately.