Next Stop: Denver as Brooklyn Nets road trip continues

Doug Pensinger

The Nets flew into Denver Thursday morning a giddy group. After the win in Portland, the stat sheet was filled with superlatives and some franchise history.

--They won in Portland for the first time since 2007.

--They are now 13 games over .500, the most since the end of the 2005-06 season.

--They win gave them 42 for the season with 11 to go, ensuring their first winning season, also since 2005-06.

--With one more win, they will have their first winning season on the road, having tied the franchise record for road wins at 20.

--In their five games since leaving New York, they've averaged 108 points, scoring 110 points or more in three of their four wins.

Of course, they will be playing the Nuggets who had their own superlatives, having won 15 straight until Monday when the Hornets beat them. Now, they're on a two-game losing streak, having lost to the Spurs in San Antonio Wednesday night.

The Spurs beat the Nuggets by dominating in the paint. Take away their paint game and the Nuggets are vulnerable. The Nets, of course, are doing quite well in the paint this week, with Reggie Evans, the NBA's best rebounder, and Brook Lopez playing well. Evans has four 20+ rebound games this month and he's averaging 15.5 per game in March. Lopez is averaging nearly 21 points per game in March, his best month.

They'll be going up against a strong cast of characters, just about all of them more athletic than the Nets duo, starting with JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried. They also have Danilo Gallinari, the prize of the Carmelo Anthony deal, who can shoot with anyone. What they've been lacking is Ty Lawson, who returned Wednesday after missing three games to an injured heel. Lawson played just 20 minutes vs. the Spurs, scoring two points on 1-of-7 shooting to go with three assists and two steals. His status for Thursday night is doubtful at best. Andre Miller would start in his place. He and Andre Iguodala are healthy and providing leadership for what is a young team.

For the Nets, Joe Johnson remains questionable as the Nets put a high priority on getting him and others healthy. Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia flew into Denver from Springfield earlier Wednesday night.

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