The Denver Nuggets (5-5) have won four of their last five games, and have taken the first two games of a three-game road trip after beating Philadelphia 115-103 and the Knicks 114-89. Tonight, the Nuggets will try to finish the three-game swing perfect when they take on the Brooklyn Nets (5-6), who are riding a two-game losing streak.
Against the Knicks, Nikola Jokic scored 22 points with 10 rebounds and five assists in just three quarters of action. Gary Harris added 14 points for Denver, who used a 12-1 run at the start of the second quarter to break open a six point game. The Nuggets would extend the lead over 20 at the end of the second period, then cruised through the second half to another win.
The Nets, on the other hand, have lost two straight after dropping a 129-116 decision against Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant, who had sat out the previous three games due to being contact traced, returned to score 36 points. Caris LeVert added 21 points while Jarrett Allen scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Thunder used a 25-7 run at the end of the third quarter to create separation, and Brooklyn never recovered. The Nets fell to 2-3 against Western Conference teams this season.
Jokic Leading the Way for DenverNikola Jokic is enjoying quite the season this year, averaging a triple-double for the Nuggets. The big man averages 24.4 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game, and 10.4 assists per game. With Michael Porter, Jr. and his 19.5 points per game out due to injury, Jokic is going to have to pick up even more of the scoring slack. Joining Jokic is Jamal Murray, who has averaged 19.7 points per game.
Offensively, the Nuggets are second in the NBA in effective field goal percent (56.5%), 16th in turnover percent (13.3%), 5th in offensive rebounding percent (24.9%), and 12th in free throws per field goal attempts (.201). Defensively, Denver is second in opponents effective field goal percent (54.5%), 12th in opponent turnover percent (13.7%), 29th in defensive rebounding percent (75.5%), and 19th in opponents free throws per field goal attempts (.204).
Nets Hoping for Better Results in Durant’s Second Game BackBrooklyn’s loss to Oklahoma City was particularly disappointing considering Kevin Durant was back in the lineup after missing three games due to being exposed to COVID. Durant did score 36 points, but depth was an issue as Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyrie Irving are out due to injury. Picking up the slack with Durant, who has averaged 29.3 ppgs, 7.6 rpg, and 4.7 apg, is Caris LeVert. LeVert has averaged 18.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 6.0 apg. Joe Harris has shot 50.8% from deep while averaging 14.4 ppg.
Offensively, the Nets are eighth in the NBA in effective field goal percent (55.7%), 24th in turnover percent (14.1%), 20th in offensive rebounding percent (19.7%), and 4th in free throws per field goal attempts (.226). Defensively, Brooklyn is first in opponents effective field goal percent (50.2%), 24th in opponent turnover percent (11.9%), 25th in defensive rebounding percent (76.4%), and 4th in opponents free throws per field goal attempts (.182).