Nets annihilate Nuggets, Cruise to victory, 112-89

Justin Edmonds

After an embarrassing 44-point loss in Portland last night, the Nets are hoping to close out the seven game road trip strong with tonight's matchup against the Nuggets and Saturday's matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Last night... Sigh. The Trail Blazers absolutely manhandled the Nets -- winning by a total of 44 points. It was the third worst defeat in Nets franchise history.

Tonight, however, it was a different story as Brooklyn took advantage of the depleted Nuggets squad, dominating Denver 112-89.  By a depleted Nuggets lineup, let me clarify: Wilson Chandler (knee), Ty Lawson (rib), JaVale McGee (leg), Nate Robinson (knee), & Danilo Gallinari (knee).

The 67-point turnaround was the third biggest point swing on successive nights in NBA history; the biggest in Nets history.

Unlike Wednesday night, the Nets controlled this game early. This was easily the best first quarter -- if not the best quarter in general of the Nets season thus far. The Nets allowed just eight points. Yes, you read that correct.... EIGHT POINTS! The lowest they've given up all season. Not only was it the Nets best, the eight points were the lowest from any team in the entire NBA in the first quarter this season.

While putting up the best defensive effort of the season, they were dominating on the offensive side of the ball too. They dropped 29 points holding a 29-8 lead heading into the second quarter. They forced eight turnovers, and finally out-rebounded the opposition, 15-11.

Brooklyn was dominating and they were finally having fun. They continued to control this game. It wasn't necessarily another eight point defensive quarter, but they continued to control the pace. Denver showed signs of life behind Kenneth "The Manimal" Faried, but the Nets seemed to answer back every time. Despite his team being down, Faried led all scorers  at the half with 12 points & 6 rebounds.

The Nuggets picked up their offensive game, finishing the quarter with 28 points, but on the other side; the Nets were scorching hot, scoring 30 points in the second quarter. The Nets owned the game at half: 59-36. Andrei Kirilenko finished the half with 9 points, but his contributions on both sides of the ball don't show up in the boxscore.

Quick reminder: The Nets scored 59 points in the first 24 minutes on 52% shooting. No Nets' player was in double digits. It was a balanced attack on both sides of the floor.

Five minutes into the third quarter, the Nets found their biggest lead of the night: 30. They held a 72-42 lead, still with 19 minutes remaining in the game. Suddenly, the memory of last night's game was beginning to fade as the lead continued to grow for Brooklyn.

Behind Paul Pierce's 18 points, the Nets owned an 89-56 lead going into the fourth. Brooklyn hasn't won in Denver since 2007, and they were on their way to changing the script.

Not much changed in the fourth quarter. Similar to last night, Jason Kidd would ride the Nets bench throughout the entire fourth quarter. Only this time, the Nets were the predator in this one, opposed to being the prey last night. These kind of nights are important for player development, a field which Kidd has strived in all season.

The Nets would go on to win 112-89. Paul Pierce led the way for Brooklyn with 18 points & 6 rebounds. Marcus Thornton looked solid off the bench scoring 10 points on 3-7 shooting. The Nets stand 3-3 on the road trip, and hope to finish it on a solid note this Saturday in Milwaukee against the Bucks.

For more on the Denver Nuggets, check them out at: Denver Stiffs.

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