The Brooklyn Nets endured a night-and-day back-to-back series concluding in Denver on Thursday night.
A night after suffering a 44-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Nets rebounded with a 112-89 blowout of the Nuggets in a nationally-televised game. The Nets limited the Nuggets to eight points in the first quarter and never faced a true Denver threat. The previous night, the Nets tallied the fourth-worst loss in franchise history.
Nine Nets scored eight or more points, with Paul Pierce scoring a game-high 18 points in the win. Joe Johnson emerged as the only other starter to score in double-figures with 10 points.
The back and forth nature of the Nets’ doubleheader signified the disparity in opponents. The Trail Blazers occupy the Western Conference’s third seed. The Nuggets, on the other hand, sit in 11th place and lost their fourth straight game.
Although the Nuggets played without starters Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler, the Nets simply outworked the host-team. The Nuggets still trotted out a healthy frontcourt with Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, and J.J. Hickson. Both teams continued to miss centers Brook Lopez and JaVale McGee. With Denver’s active big men, the Nets held their own on the glass a night removed from yielding 24 more rebounds to the Blazers. The Nuggets edged the Nets by two in the rebounding category.
On a 6-game west-coast trip, the Nets have held serve against their winnable opponents with one game left to play. They beat the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and Nuggets while losing to the two playoff teams on the schedule: the Golden State Warriors and Trail Blazers.
The Nets trek to Milwaukee to take on the hapless Bucks on Saturday, March 1, before returning home to face the Chicago Bulls on Monday.
Head coach Jason Kidd enjoyed the luxury of limiting his players minutes for the second game in a row, despite playing consecutive games in as many days. After pulling his starters midway through the third quarter against Portland, Kidd did the same against the Nuggets.
The Nets moved to 27-29 on the season.