At long last, the Nets returned home yesterday after spending almost two weeks traveling around much of the country.

And, though it ended on a sour note with back-to-back losses to the Nuggets and Jazz that dropped the Nets to 4-3 after completing the western portion of their eight-game, 17-day road trip, interim coach P.J. Carlesimo was able to find plenty of positives to take out of it.

“I think overall, yes,” Carlesimo said after Saturday’s 116-107 loss to the Jazz in Salt Lake City when asked if the trip was a success. “I liked where we were for most of this trip. To me, you’re going up a hill, and you go up and you go down and you go back up. We were going up pretty steadily for a while, and then we took a couple steps back the last two nights.

“I don’t think we fell off, and we’re not back to where we were before the trip started, but we took a couple steps back from where we were.”

The Nets started the trip with four wins in five games, including impressive victories in Dallas and Portland. But playing the back-to-back games at altitude against a pair of teams that are now a combined 60-12 at home proved to be too much for the Nets and their road-weary legs to overcome.

“It was good until the last two games. That’s pretty much it,” said Deron Williams, who had 21 points and 11 assists in the loss against the Jazz, his former team, a defeat that dropped him to 0-4 against Utah since he was traded to the Nets.

“These last two were a little disappointing, especially after how we played in Portland [on Wednesday]. But that tends to happen with the last couple on a long road trip like this. You wish it wouldn’t, and you talk about it not happening, but that’s what happens.”

The Nets, who had yesterday and today off, will practice tomorrow before wrapping up the trip in Cleveland on Wednesday, where they’ll hope to have Joe Johnson back in the lineup.