The Brooklyn Nets had their worst game of their season long 8-game road trip Friday night in Denver against the Nuggets. The Nets lost 109-87 after Denver closed the game on a run in the fourth quarter. Reggie Evans was the Nets’ best player for the second game in a row, finishing with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Andray Blatche had 16 off the bench. The Nuggets were led by their bench. Rookie Evan Fournier had 19 points while Wilson Chandler had 16 and Corey Brewer had 13.
The Nets probably played their best basketball in this game in the first quarter. Although they were not hitting all their shots, their offense still looked pretty good and they were hanging around with the Nuggets. Things changed in the second quarter. The Nets’ offense became very stagnant and they started allowing Denver to start running on fast breaks, which was the theme of the night. This allowed Denver to get many easy baskets. The Nets trailed by 17 at halftime. The lead grew to over 20 in the third quarter, but the Nets came back a bit at the end of the quarter to cut Denver’s lead to 14. In the fourth quarter, the Nets got as close as 12 points, but were never really able to get over the hump.
The key for Denver tonight was their ability to force turnovers and run on the fast break for easy baskets. The Nuggets had tons of fast break points tonight, even without their starting point guard Ty Lawson. The other reason the Nets lost was their free throw shooting, which was awful. The Nets were 18-36 from the foul line, which is just 50%. If they had made all of their foul shots, they would have lost by just 4 points. They also shot just 40% from the field, 25% from 3, and had 19 turnovers. All of these stats contributed to the loss. Brooklyn did out-rebound Denver 49-33, but that did not matter with all the missed opportunities the Nets had.
For a box score of this game, click here.
Player grades and notes:
Reggie Evans: A-
Reggie had his second straight very impressive game. He had 15 points and 16 rebounds tonight and was very good on both offense and defense. He was 5-7 from the field and also went to the foul line 9 times. He was a big reason the Nuggets got into foul trouble in the third quarter tonight. The Nets should not rely on Reggie’s offense, but whenever he brings it, it is a bonus.
Brook Lopez: C-
Lopez had one of his poorest games of the season. He had no touch around the rim and shot just 4-15 from the field. He was even worse from the foul line, 3-9, and he did not record a block in the game. The Nuggets are a bad matchup for Lopez because of how fast they are and how slow he is. Expect Lopez to play better tomorrow night.
Deron Williams: C+
Deron Williams was alright on offense, finishing with 19 points, but did not look very comfortable and was not good on defense. He also had 4 turnovers. Deron finished with just 3 assists.
Keith Bogans: D
Bogans started in place of Joe Johnson and was not effective. 0-6 from the field. 0-5 from 3. 0 points in 20 minutes. Not good.
Andray Blatche: B+
Blatche kept the Nets in the game in the third quarter and at the start of the fourth. He was 8-11 from the field for 16 points and also had 2 steals and 3 blocks. He also played a lot against his former teammate Javale McGee. Too bad the other Nets big guys couldn’t reward his effort.
Marshon Brooks: C
Marshon finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, but really struggled on both offense and defense. He was only 4-13 from the field and he had 4 fouls. Without Joe Johnson, Marshon probably had to play too many minutes.
The Nets will be staying at altitude tomorrow night when they visit the Utah Jazz, who are battling for the last playoff spot in the western conference. FRWD will have full coverage of that game.