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Recap: Nuggets defeat the Nets 124-118 behind seven Austin Rivers threes

Austin Rivers was absolutely unconscious from deep tonight

Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets beat a thin Brooklyn Nets lineup tonight 124-118. This victory snaps a three-game losing streak to the Nets and a three-game losing streak in Brooklyn. The Nuggets climb to 13-12 on the road which is the first time they have been over .500 away from Ball Arena this season. Jokic filled the stat line once again with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists but Austin Rivers was the star tonight. His seven threes catapulted Denver’s offense effort late in this game. Brooklyn outscored Denver 37-25 in the second quarter, but Rivers’s three-point explosion helped the Nuggets score 42 points in the third to Brooklyn’s 26.

The Nuggets had six players in double figures, two coming from the bench. Although DeMarcus Cousins got ejected late in the game, he appeared to find regain his rhythm as he dropped 13 points and 6 rebounds. Denver’s three-point and free-throw shooting saved them tonight. They hit 15 threes and knocked down 25 of 27 free throw attempts. The Nuggets get out to an early 2-0 start on this six-game road trip. Their next game comes Friday against Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans.

1st Quarter

  • The Nuggets got out to an early 6-2 lead. Will Barton sank two consecutive threes and his third attempt went halfway down before popping out. He looked active to begin the game as he tossed an assist to Jokic as well
  • Jokic returned the favor to Barton when he found him wide open for a one-handed jam. Jokic then knocked down a three along with a transition dunk to give Denver the 15-4 lead. Barton and Jokic combined for all of Denver’s 15 points
  • DeAndre’ Bembry and James Johnson cracked a three-minute scoreless streak for Brooklyn. On the next possession, Kessler Edwards slipped to the rim two which shrunk the Denver lead 17-12
  • The bench erupted when DeMarcus Cousins hit his first three as a Nugget. It stretched the lead to seven until Jevon Carter responded with a three of his own
  • The Nets were on a 23-10 scoring run late in the quarter. It was a 17-8 run since Jokic went to the bench. They hit six of their last seven shots and grabbed the lead 26-25

Score: 29-28 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Barton - 8, Aldridge/Bembry - 6

2nd Quarter

  • The Nets started 2 of 10 shooting in the first, but they ended up hitting 13 of their last 17 shots. They had 16 points in the paint along with seven fast-break points. Patty Mills hit his second three to give Brooklyn a 35-33 lead, but Boogie Cousins answered with his second three to reclaim the lead
  • The Denver bench found their rhythm offensively early in the second. Boogie chipped in with 11 points, Forbes 5, and Nnaji 6 to maintain the lead at 46-42
  • Cam Thomas dropped two consecutive three for his 12th point off the bench. He gave the Nets the lead back until Aaron Gordon scored four in a row to reclaim a slight lead
  • Brooklyn’s three-point shooting heated up in the second. They hit five of nine threes in the quarter which assisted their 15-6 scoring run. They gained a five-point advantage 57-52
  • Brooklyn acquired their largest lead of the game to that point off an Aldridge and-one layup. Bembry then stretched that lead to 63-52 via a wide-open transition dunk. The Nets ended the quarter on a 17-4 run

Score: 65-54 Nets

Scoring leaders: Aldridge - 14, Cousins - 11

3rd Quarter

  • The Nets opened the quarter with three free throws from Mills and an Aldridge mid-range jumper. Morris and Barton scored two apiece while Jokic hit a three, but the Nets kept answering with buckets at their end for a 73-66 lead
  • Will Barton scored his 19th point in 19 minutes with another dunk. The Nuggets then reduced the lead to just three from a Jokic assist to a cutting Jeff Green for the slam. Denver started the quarter on a 16-8 run
  • Nikola Jokic helped the Nuggets get within two at 79-77 with an and-one layup. The next possession, Uncle Jeff glided to the rim for another and-one layup off a Brooklyn turnover
  • Denver’s offense went into attack mode as they reclaimed the lead 81-79 off two Green free throws. Will Barton appeared to be the catalyst, forcing downhill action that often resulted in open looks
  • Austin Rivers nailed two threes along with two Jokic free throws to hand Denver the 89-82 advantage. Rivers then sank another three to give Denver an eight-point lead. To that point, he was 4-5 from deep
  • Two Boogie free throws and a Rivers driving layup almost ended the quarter until Cam Thomas converted a three. Rivers had 11 points in the period

Score: 96-91 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Barton - 21, Thomas - 21

4th Quarter

  • Three straight offensive fouls introduced the period, two from Brooklyn and one from Denver. The next possession, Boogie was called for traveling and was ejected with his second technical foul.
  • Rookie Cam Thomas grabbed his career-high of 24 points with another three but Rivers answered with his fifth three of the game. Patty Mills would then tie the score at 99 with his second three
  • Another Rivers three gave Denver a 104-99 lead. In 17 minutes he scored 20 points on 6-7 shooting from deep and 7-8 overall. In those minutes, he was Denver’s leader in plus/minus by a wide margin at +14
  • Aaron Gordon was quiet in the scoring department for much of the game but his four straight points supported Denver’s lead while Patty Mills hit two threes. Rivers then countered with his seventh three and a season-high 25 points
  • Both teams went scoreless for about a two-minute period. Aaron Gordon broke the streak with a baseline mid-range jumper to increase the score 118-113 Nuggets
  • Brooklyn shot 18-21 from the free-throw line in about 46 minutes, but they missed three free throws down the stretch while Jokic capitalized with two himself. A huge Gordon block on Aldridge stamped Denver’s defensive effort late in the period
  • Monte Morris then sealed the win with a layup to give Denver a 10 point lead, 124-114 with 40 seconds left

Score: 124-118 Nuggets

Scoring leaders: Jokic - 26, Thomas - 25

Stat leaders

Points: Jokic - 26

Rebounds: Jokic/Barton - 10

Assists: Jokic - 8

Silent hero of the game: Austin Rivers - 25 points, 2 steals on 7-10 shooting beyond the arc, and a game-high plus/minus of +15