The Skinny: The Nets opened the game 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line. But the Nuggets were unstoppable on the glass in the opening quarter, with 16 of their 26 points coming in the paint. Evan Fournier hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give Denver a three-point lead after one.
JaVale McGee and Jordan Hamilton paced Denver’s second unit to start the second quarter. But Brooklyn kept knocking down threes, with Keith Bogans and Tyshawn Taylor hitting from downtown. Kris Humphries had eight points in the opening minutes of the quarter, helping the Nets to a four point-lead at the midway point. A back-and-forth offensive pace ensued for the next six minutes, with the Nets leading by five at the break.
Joe Johnson continued his hot shooting early in the second half. He, along with C.J. Watson and Gerald Wallace, helped orchestrate a 17-4 run to put the Nets ahead by 20. Denver made a run late in the quarter, but Brooklyn still led by 14 after three.
The Nuggets got to within five points in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. But more clutch shooting from Johnson and Watson put the Nets back up 16., and from that point, Brooklyn eased to the win.
High Scorers: Johnson led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-19 from the field, made five three-pointers and dished out a season-high nine assists. For the Nuggets, Ty Lawson led the way with 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting and picked up nine assists.
Key Stats: The Nets shot 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) from three-point range, which sets the high mark this season for made three pointers and three-point shooting percentage. Brooklyn also turned in its best overall shooting performance of the season at 54.7 percent (41-of-75).
Who Was Hot: Watson finished with a season-high 25 points, knocked down five three-pointers and dished out a season-high six assists. Brook Lopez shot 9-of-15 from the floor for 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Humphries scored 14 points off the bench. For Denver, Hamilton poured in 15 points off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting. McGee added 14 points and some impressive dunks for the Nuggets.
Who Was Not: The Nuggets turned the ball over 14 times, and the Nets scored 20 points off those turnovers. Kenneth Faried hit on only 3-of-8 from the field for seven points.
Fun Fact: The Nets have used nine different starting lineups in 53 games this season. Nine of the 14 players on the roster have started at least one game, with Johnson being the only player to start every game.
The Nets really played their own game tonight and head into the All-Star break with a bang. It helped that the Nuggets didn’t have Andre Iguodala or Danilo Gallinari in this one, but lights-out shooting form beyond the arc gave Brooklyn the victory.
The entire offensive effort, except for a brief stretch early in the fourth quarter, showed this team’s scoring potential. Denver dominated in the paint, but the Nets’ shooting was on target all night.
The Nets set a new season-high for points with 119 – the previous high was 115 in a double overtime win over the Wizards. Brooklyn also set new season-highs with points in a quarter with 39 (in the second) and a new season-high for most points through three quarters with 95.
After looking lost Monday night, Watson was red hot from the field in this one filling in for Deron Williams. He set a season-high in points through just three quarters. Johnson also put forth a huge effort after inconsistent play the past few games.
The Nuggets had beaten the Nets in nine of the last 11 games, but the Nets improved to 19-10 at home on the season with the victory.
Brooklyn (31-22), except Lopez of course, will enjoy a five-day break before opening a home-and-home series with the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night at Barclays Center. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.