With a balanced attack, the Brooklyn Nets doubled their lead in the standings over the 9th place Pistons to a full game after defeating the Denver Nuggets in Pepsi Center tonight. Seven Nets scored in double figures while the only sign of life in the Nugget offense was from a scorching hot Danilo Gallinari and newly acquired Will Barton off the bench. Denver was manhandled in the paint off pick and rolls as Brooklyn scored 60+ points in the paint against the Nuggets for the second time this season. Brook Lopez lead Brooklyn in scoring with 19 points.
Coach Brian Shaw mixed up the starting lineup. Wilson Chandler was given the night off due to "nagging injuries" after playing last night. Darrell Arthur received his second start of the season while Gary Harris received his first start of the season at shooting guard. The fresh blood injected some new found energy and excitement early as Denver lead 20-12 after the first eight minutes of play. Jusuf Nurkic went to the bench after receiving his second foul, and the Nets went on a 98-62 run.
Denver shot a nauseating 33% from the field, but tonight my glasses were of the rose colored tint because Gallinari shot 7-12 including 3-5 from down town. He was driving to the bucket. He was knocking down open jump shots and nailing threes with defenders in his face. For the first time in a long time Gallo looked like Gallo. While the rookies take their lumps, more showings like this from #8 will quickly brighten the light at the end of this tunnel.
Speaking of rookies, Jusuf Nurkic is still reaching too much on defense and his offensive game is inconsistent, but his rebounding, effort, and attitude never waver. Joffrey Lauvergne played over 20 minutes but managed 0 points. Lauvergne nabbed 9 rebounds, but with as many missed shots as the Nuggets produced that isn't as impressive as it looks at first glance. Gary Harris shot poorly but had some great drives early in the game. He rushed some shots in the lane and although he sometimes lacks confidence in his shot, he kept shooting tonight despite unfavorable results.
Points of Interest
The Nets shot 87% from the free throw line. Denver was 59%
J,J, Hickson was the only Nugget with positive +/-. He accumulated no stats other than 2 minutes played.
Utah defeated San Antonio and Boston beat Phoenix. If you weren't already pulling for George Karl to turn things around this season in Sac-town, now would be a good time to jump on the bandwagon. Hot Lotto!