The New Jersey Nets (15–34) beat the Denver Nuggets (28–20) 115–99 on Monday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., to avenge their narrow 107–103 loss from Nov. 20, 2010.
The win came after two tough road losses last week. Before those losses, the Nets had one of their best home stands of the year, winning four out of five games. The win on Monday put the Nets over the .500 mark at home with a 12–11 record for the season.
Monday’s win flew in the face of former Nets hopeful Carmelo Anthony, who had a stellar night for the Nuggets scoring 37 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Anthony carried the Nuggets in the first half, scoring 23 points while no other Denver player broke double-digit scoring.
Despite Anthony’s first half effort the Nets held firm control of the game from the start.
Travis Outlaw nailed back-to-back 3-pointers in the middle of the first quarter to help lift the Nets to an 11-point lead while riding a 15–0 run.
Outlaw would score a total of three 3-pointers and 13 points in the first quarter alone—just two points short of the Nets’ season record for a quarter set by Brook Lopez. The entire Nets starting lineup got on the board with additional contributions from the bench in the first quarter.
The Nets dominated throughout the second quarter and pulled up by as much as 18 points while never dropping below a 10-point lead. The half culminated in a terrific burst of energy with back-to-back alley-oop dunks from Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez in good transition basketball.
The Nets ended the half up 63–50 in their highest scoring half of the season. Outlaw and Lopez led in scoring with 18 points and 12 points, respectively.
Nuggets veteran Chauncey Billups would lead the Nuggets to within four points on two occasions late in the third quarter as Denver threatened a comeback. But the Nets’ bench, led by Anthony Marrow and Humphries, managed to keep Denver at bay.
The Nets quickly took back control of the game in the fourth quarter with Lopez leading the effort to finish the night with 27 points. Outlaw scored 21, and Morrow and Humphries scored 18 points and 15 points, respectively. Morrow was an impressive 4-for-4 from downtown.
The Nets’ bench combined for 50 points compared to 17 points from the Nuggets’ bench. Devin Harris ran the Nets’ offense and had 18 assists.
Anthony was followed in scoring by Billups with 19 points, and Nene Hilario scored 16 points for the Nuggets.
The Nets will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. They’ll be hoping the hometown magic will continue before they hit the road again against the Detroit Pistons on Friday.