What seemed as the Nets retuning to their offensive identity turned into a blowout by the end of the game.
Poor second and third quarters were enough to retract Brooklyn’s 36-point effort in the first quarter, with the game ending in a 124-111 loss against the Denver Nuggets. Brooklyn’s record now stands at 3-4, and the team is no longer undefeated at Barclays Center.
As Brooklyn went into the half with a 63-60 lead, the third quarter was where the Nuggets did their damage. Denver put up 40 points, compared to Brooklyn’s 21, led by Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic.
After the Nuggets hit a 22-point lead, though, the Nets made their move to cut into the lead and gain some momentum. The insertion of Trevor Booker into the lineup in the second half saw the Nets go on a 17-4 run that spanned the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter.
At that point, it seemed feasible for the Nets to carry their momentum, but turnovers were a problem for Brooklyn again tonight. The Nets had 15 giveaways, compared to Denver’s mere six. The Nuggets only had one turnover entering halftime, which shows Brooklyn’s lack of pressure on defense.
One place the Nets had an edge tonight was in bench points. Brooklyn’s 58 points off the bench, powered by Spencer Dinwiddie and Joe Harris, beat Denver’s 32 points.
The only problem there is that Denver’s starting lineup all had at least 13 points each.
After the Nets emptied the bench with about three minutes to go, the game was officially out of hand.
Brooklyn’s next chance to grab a win comes on Halloween night this Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns before the team heads on a west coast trip. The team is still searching for a defensive scheme that will prevent opponents to go on runs like the Nuggets did tonight.
Denver is a talented team, but the focus needs to come. Time for the young guys to learn from it.
8 PTS, 4-11 FG, 0-2 FT, 8 REB, 1 AST, 20 MIN
If anyone was going to bring Brooklyn to victory, it was Trevor Booker, and he did his best to make it happen. The energy he brought in the second half helped spur the Nets on their run to cut into the lead. While it wasn’t enough, Booker battled for rebounds and gave his teammates something to work with.
During Brooklyn’s second-half run, there was even a moment when Booker passed Dinwiddie the ball to shoot a three. Dinwiddie was hesitant, but Booker motioned for him to take it. Dinwiddie took it and drained it.
Booker knew it was in before it got there, and he trusted in his teammates. He earned that assist.
18 PTS, 8-12, 2-3 FT, 6 REB, 1 AST, 3 TOV, 1 BLK, 30 MIN
RHJ had a real promising start, making his shots and continuing his impressive showing at the free throw line this season. Once the Nuggets started raining on Brooklyn, though, it seemed as if RHJ lost some of his confidence. He turned the ball over a bit and his offensive contribution dwindled.
He put up 18 points on the night, but his time on the court came during some of Brooklyn’s toughest runs.
16 PTS, 6-11 FG, 4-8 3PT, 1 REB, 1 AST, 23 MIN
Joe Harris was on fire tonight. Making four of eight threes and contributing season-high 16 points overall, he helped give Brooklyn some life in a potential comeback. Harris is holding his role as a dependable bench player that can give the starting lineup a lift like he did tonight.
Coupled with Dinwiddie’s 22 points, the two are becoming an established off-the-bench duo.
12 PTS, 3-12 FG, 0-3 3FG, 6-10 FT, 3 REB, 8 AST, 5 TOV, 24 MIN
D’Angelo Russell is still trying to get his rhythm back after tweaking his knee earlier this season. After a 3-12 showing from the field and going 0-3 from three, Russell has yet to regain his stride.
The best part of Russell’s game tonight was his eight assists. Compared to his five turnovers, though, Russell has something to work on.