A star continues to rise in Caris LeVert.
The latest tale was an underdog story out West against the 9-3 Denver Nuggets. Brooklyn brought them down to the wire, all the way down to the last possession where LeVert had the game in his hands.
Shot clock off, 110 apiece. The defender overplayed LeVert, who fought through the limited space given him and found an opening in the middle of the lane. He put home a smooth floater with 0.3 seconds left, lying on the floor while his teammates rejoiced around him.
“Very comfortable,” LeVert said of his attitude when given the ball at game’s end. “Coach trusts me with the ball in that situation to have the ball and everybody just get out of the way. That’s a great feeling to have as a player. That’s what you dream about when you’re a kid. I just tried to make a play for the team.”
Indeed, it was LeVert’s second game-winner of the season and Brooklyn’s first three-game win streak of the season. Final score: Brooklyn Nets, 112, Denver Nets 110. On the road. Against 9-3 Denver.
The Nets didn’t win three consecutive games until game No. 81 last year! And it was the first time Brooklyn has won three out of four games since the end of the 2016-17 season.
They’re now 6-6 on the season and 2-0 on this tough four-game road-trip. The last time the Nets were at .500 this late in a season was January 2015 when they were 16-16.
“We’re growing as a team. Two big 20-point wins, and then to come in here against one of the top teams in the West, that’s huge growth. Now we’ve got another shot at a good team [Saturday] in Golden State,” Kenny Atkinson said. “Listen, it’s a three-game stretch and we’ve got to keep doing it for longer stretches. But I like where we are.
“I like where our defense is … and our players are buying into the system.”
In order to win the game, the Nets had to fight off the fierce attack of Nikola Jokic, who finished with 37 points and 21 rebounds. To Brooklyn’s credit, he scored just three points in the fourth quarter and turned the ball over in the final moments.
Jared Dudley came up especially big with a veteran move that forced him to travel.
Jared Dudley's New-Type "The Help the Defender" help defense.— Skyfall (@polarfall) November 10, 2018
His right hand pushing makes Allen occupying Jokic's off spin move path. pic.twitter.com/o7SXJDNBbj
Travel. Brooklyn ball. Caris LeVert.
Brooklyn opened up the game on fire. They hit their first 6-of-9 from deep and took a 14-point lead in the second quarter. But then, their typical third quarter blues kicked in and Denver brought it within striking distance. By the fourth quarter, it was another back-and-forth affair.
Russell tallied a team-high 23 points and five assists in 26 minutes. He gave the Nets a jolt late in the fourth, which eventually led to LeVert and Allen’s late-game heroics. Allen slammed home the bucket that tied the game at 110 apiece. He finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.
“We’re all buying into that. We fight the whole game,” Russell said, comparing this season to last. “To lose the game at the end from one mental error is hard to sleep with. As a group, we’re realizing that and trying to limit those habits.”
LeVert finished with 17 points and five assists in 31 minutes and held Gary Harris to four points, none until the third quarter.
“We’re seeing Caris LeVert grow right in front of our eyes,” Jared Dudley said after the game. It’s fun to watch.”
IT’S JOE HARRIS’ WORLD, WE’RE JUST LIVING IN IT...
- Joe Harris has connected on at least one three-pointer in 27 straight games, just one game shy of matching Jason Kidd (2005-06) and Allen Crabbe (2017-18) for the 2nd-longest streak in Nets history.
- Entering tonight, Harris is third in the league lead in three-point field goal percentage (54.5%), tied for ninth in three-pointers made (31), third in effective field goal percentage (69.8%), and 18th in field goal percentage.
WELCOME BACK, DEMARRE
DeMarre Carroll made his season debut after missing the first 11 games due to right ankle arthroscopy. Last season, he averaged career-highs in points (13.5), rebounds (6.6) and assists (2.0), while shooting 37 percent from three.
Although on a minutes restriction, Carroll checked in at the 3:21 mark of the first and finished with nine points in 14 minutes.
DINWIDDIE’S KICKS - THE MAYOR IS BACK IN TOWN
We’ve been keeping track of Spencer Dinwiddie’s customized kicks throughout the season. Being that the Nets were in Denver, he paid homage to the place he once called home.
View this post on Instagram
Game 12: @cubuffs / @1mrbigshot. There’s no other way to return to one of my homes. Had 3 great years here and wouldn’t trade my time in Boulder for any other experience. Also had to pay homage to the best alumni in our schools history. My quest to be 2.0 and take that mantle continues every night. #AudienceOfOne #K8IROS #kotd Artwork: @k_o.brand_kickasso
For another perspective, head on over to Denver Stiffs, our sister site on SB Nation.
It doesn’t get any easier! They’ll play the Golden State Warriors Saturday at 8:30pm.
- Game Report: Brooklyn Nets 112, Denver Nuggets 110 (Box Score) - NBA.com
- Game Report: Brooklyn Nets 112, Denver Nuggets 110 (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post Game Plus: BKN@DEN (Video) - Chris Shearn - YES Network
- LeVert on his clutch basket (Video) - Michael Grady - YES Network
- Atkinson on the 112-110 victory (Video) - YES Network
- Allen talks dunk, win in Denver (Video) - YES Network
- Dudley on LeVert’s growth in ‘18 (Video) - YES Network
- Carroll on returning to Nets (Video) - Michael Grady - YES Network
- Atkinson talks Carroll, Nuggets (Video) - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Caris LeVert hits floater to lift Nets past Nuggets, 112-110 - Michael Kelly - AP
- Caris LeVert plays hero with game-winner for rolling Nets - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets won’t have to contend with Stephen Curry - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Caris LeVert hits pull-up jumper in final second as Nets edge Denver - Greg Logan - Newsday
- NETS 112, NUGGETS 110: LEVERT’S GAME-WINNER LIFTS BROOKLYN TO THIRD STRAIGHT WIN - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- GALLERY: NETS VS. NUGGETS - Brooklyn Nets
- Nuggets fall apart in last minute loss to Nets - Mike Singer - Denver Post