Nets romp past Nuggets; Carmelo hurts ankle
Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Vince Carter scored 25 points and Richard
Jefferson netted 24 to propel New Jersey to a 101-92 victory over Denver at
the Pepsi Center.
Jason Kidd compiled 13 points and eight rebounds for the Nets, who led from
start-to-finish and were up by as many as 22 points in the first half.
New Jersey wrapped up a five-game western road trip with back-to-back wins.
The Nets downed the Lakers 102-96 in overtime on Sunday.
Former Net Kenyon Martin poured in 26 points before being ejected late, and
Earl Boykins contributed 24 off the bench for the Nuggets, but Denver lost its
leading scorer less than two minutes into the game.
Carmelo Anthony suffered a sprained left ankle after being fouled by New
Jersey’s Nenad Krstic with 1:30 elapsed in the first quarter. He stayed in to
make both free throw attempts before limping off to the locker room for x-
rays, which proved to be negative.
Up 12-10 early on, the Nets took control with a 9-0 run ignited by Carter’s
three-pointer five minutes into the game. Denver would cut the deficit to five
when Boykins hit a jumper late in the first quarter, but New Jersey
answered with a 13-3 spurt to close out the period.
Jefferson highlighted the surge with a pair of three-pointers, and Kidd capped
it with a steal and layup that sent the Nets to a commanding 36-21 advantage
after one quarter.
“The effort here tonight was tremendous,” said New Jersey head coach Lawrence
Frank of his squad. “We got off to a great start and sustained it.”
The lead grew to 22 points less than 2 1/2 minutes into the second when Jeff
McInnis’ jumper made the score 43-21. A mild rally attempt by the Nuggets near
the end of the half trimmed the margin to 14, but the Nets would head into the
break up comfortably at 55-40.
Jefferson led the way with 17 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting, while
Carter made 5-of-7 field goal attempts for 14 points. New Jersey shot nearly
55 percent from the floor as a team over the initial 24 minutes.
“We fell behind because we were soft and let (the Nets) get into their
rhythm,” said Nuggets head coach George Karl. “Mentally we gave them the first
Denver slowly chipped away at the lead and got within 77-70 after embarking on
a 7-1 run, ending with a Boykins three-point play and a Linas Kleiza outside
jumper, to finish the third quarter.
A Kleiza layup early in the fourth brought Denver within 81-75 before New
Jersey scored the next seven points to seemingly pull away. However, the
Nuggets responded with an 8-0 burst and closed the gap to 88-83 when Martin
made 1-of-2 foul shots with 3:25 left.
The Nets were up by six, 93-87, with just over a minute to go when Martin was
whistled for a foul on Carter and both he and Karl received technicals for
arguing the call. Carter made all five of the free throws to seal the win.
“You’ve got to show some poise and weather the storm, and our guys did that,”
Frank remarked about the Nets withstanding Denver’s comeback effort.
Martin would get another technical during the ensuing timeout to end his
Denver’s Andre Miller nearly had a triple-double despite not making a field
goal. He went 0-of-10 from the field, 10-of-12 from the line and added 10
rebounds and nine assists…New Jersey has won seven of the last eight
meetings between the clubs…Denver lost for only the second time in eight
home games this year…Boykins made 4-of-9 three-point attempts…The Nuggets
shot just 37.7 percent for the night…Carter made 10-of-11 free
throws…McInnis ended with 12 points off the bench.