In a game that had the Denver Nuggets grind out an early lead behind a great first half from Ty Lawson, misfires from three and sloppy ball movement handed the win to the Brooklyn Nets, 102-96
This quarter was a story of the Nets taking advantage of a tired Nuggets team on defense. The Nuggets showed their athleticism early with some good offensive boards and loose balls recoveries. Mason Plumlee was outworking the entire Denver frontcourt, with putbacks and at one point over four Nuggets.
Ty Lawson did take advantage of Jarrett Jack early with some open jumpers, but bad mistakes with the basketball leading to easy baskets for the Nets. Denver had some success on offense with some two man action between Arron Afflalo and Lawson (clearly to get Afflalo going), but the Nets took a sustained lead on a 9-0 run with 5:00 left in the quarter.
Nuggets looked tired, eventually settling for jumpers, with no offensive movement and stone feet on defense and the boards.
The quarter started with more hustle from the Nets, as the first with two tip outs on the offensive boards. Jusuf Nurkic's play helped the Nuggets in the paint early on, geting easy buckets and even an 18-footer. Though he carried the Nuggets issues on defense, as the Nets driving at Nurkic got them easy buckets.
More tip ins by Nets, and more sloppy passes from Denver, let the Nets take a nine point lead. They kept taking advantage of the turnovers with a 7-0 run at the 5:00 mark. Brooklyn had 15 points off of turnovers at that point.
Denver got within four from the foul line, but the Nets got the ball in the post, taking advantage of the Nuggets smaller perimeter duo of Lawson and Afflalo to sustain their lead.
Ty Lawson was living in the paint area with 17 points, 7 assists in the first half.
Nuggets start the quarter by turning the ball over like last quarter. Nuggets were 4-14 from three at the 8:00 point, but they continue to jack jumpers, even though they have had success with their dribble penetration.
Faried and Kevin Garnett going at it energized a mini-Denver run with Faired on the break and Lawson handling the bulk of the scoring. The Nuggets got the lead at 67-65 halfway through the quarter.
Afflalo's energy kept the Nuggets going with drives to the basket and his hustle on loose balls, but it was Lawson's nine points in the quarter that helped them stay ahead.
Nuggets defense is keeping the Nets outside the paint, recovering on the perimeter well and challenging everything. With no ball handlers in the lineup to start the fourth quarter, Brooklyn missed all three of their jumpers in the first three minutes.
They couldn't keep Plumlee off the boards or from in the paint, he had six dunks at the 8:00 mark in this quarter. Nurkic was out-hustled and Denver started turning the ball over (16 turnovers with the Nets converting those into 18 points with 7:00 left in the game), fueling an 15-4 run.
The Nuggets picked the wrong time to go on a drought. The Nets went up by eight with 2:00 left in the game and walked to a victory.