In what was as bad a blowout as you will ever see, the Brooklyn Nets crushed the Denver Nuggets 112-89 Thursday night in Colorado. The game was seen nationally on TNT. This was an especially impressive game for Brooklyn, as they were coming off their worst loss in 10 years, a 44-point rout last night in Portland. But tonight it was a different story. Paul Pierce led Brooklyn with 18 points, although it was a balanced effort. Ten Nets scored at least 8 points. Randy Foye scored 15 to lead Denver.
The Nets jumped out to a huge lead in this game and never looked back. They outscored Denver 29-8 in the first quarter, as Denver was unable to get anything going at all on offense. In the second quarter, the Nets led by as many as 30 points, and although Denver’s offense improved significantly, the Nets still had a 23-point lead at halftime. In the third, Paul Pierce was making his shots, and that prevented any hopes Denver had of winning this game.
It was great to see the Nets finally have an easy win, as they have not had many of those this season. And with Toronto’s loss tonight, they are now just 4 games behind the Raptors for the division lead and the 3-seed with plenty of basketball left to be played. Although it would have been nice to win one more game on this road trip, 3-2 against the western conference is not bad at all.
Player grades and notes:
Paul Pierce: A
Pierce didn’t need to play much tonight, but when he was in the game, he was great. He scored 18 points in just 22 minutes. He got the Nets off to a good start in the first quarter and then closed out the game at the start of the third quarter, preventing any thoughts of a Denver comeback. Defensively, he took a charge and also had 6 defensive rebounds.
Deron Williams: B+
It appears that post-all-star break Deron Williams is back. He didn’t have eye-popping numbers tonight, but he played pretty well. He had 9 points and 5 assists, while only turning the ball over once. He made smart plays all night and kept the Nets’ offense under control. He also led the team as a +31.
Shaun Livingston: A
Livingston really made some sensational passes tonight and finished with 8 assists. It really could have been more, as Joe Johnson missed a couple of open 3’s after nice Livingston passes. He didn’t shoot much, but when he did, he had a big dunk and a beautiful post up hook shot over Randy Foye.
Andrei Kirilenko: A
Kirilenko only played 10 minutes tonight, but they were some extremely effective minutes. He had 9 points, took 7 free throws, and also had 3 rebounds and a steal. He also forced a couple more turnovers that didn’t show up in the box score.
Andray Blatche: A-
After a horrible Blatche game last night, we saw good Blatche again tonight. I just wish he could be more consistent. He was 4-6 from the field and even hit a 3 for 9 points, but his biggest contribution was his rebounding. He had 9 rebounds against a superior rebounding team, and that was pretty big. If he can do that every night, the Nets might not need Jason Collins after all, but again, he has yet to show the consistency.
The Nets will finally close out their road trip on Saturday night in Milwaukee. If they can win that game, they will be over .500 on their road trip following the all-star break and back within one game of .500 for the season. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.