By Jason Schott – BrooklynFans.com Reporter / Assignment Editor – @JESchott19
The Nets beat the Nuggets 119-108 on Wednesday night at Barclays Center, their second win in a row, and they head into the All-Star Break with a 31-22 record.
Their 31 wins at the All-Star Break is the fourth highest in Nets history, and the most since the 2003-04 season. Ironically, that season also had a coaching change, as Lawrence Frank took over for Byron Scott in late January 2004.
The Nets are now 17-8 under P.J. Carlesimo, the second best start for a coach in franchise history.
The Nets were without Deron Williams for the second straight game, and C.J. Watson responded. He had 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting with six assists. Those are both season highs for Watson.
Kris Humphries also had a big night, with 14 points, a season high. He scored eight of them in the second quarter, in which the Nets outscored Denver 39-31.
The 39 points in the second quarter is the most in any quarter by the Nets this season.
Joe Johnson had a big night, with 26 points (10-19 FG) and 9 assists, a season high in that category.
The Nets had 29 assists as a team, the highest total this season.
Brook Lopez had another dominant night, no small feat against Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, and Wilson Chandler. Lopez had 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, with 7 rebounds.
The Nets led 62-57 at halftime, and took over the game in the third quarter. They outscored the Nuggets 33-24, with Johnson scoring 13 and Watson 9.
They took a 95-81 lead into the fourth, but Denver made it a game very quickly. The Nuggets pulled to within five, at 101-96, on a Corey Brewer layup with 8:13 left in the game.
Watson responded with a three-pointer that started a 9-2 run, which was capped by a Tyshawn Taylor three. Lopez had seven in the fourth, including a layup with 2:52 left to make it 117-103 Brooklyn.
Watson said of working with Johnson in the backcourt, “I think we were just making open shots. Joe was getting double teamed for the most part. We were swinging the ball and knocking down three-point shots tonight.”
Watson said of winning the last two without Williams, “They are very important. We just tried to come out and play as a team, play together and most importantly, get the win at the end of the day.”
Lopez said of getting two wins heading into the All-Star Break, “It’s a huge confidence builder. It’s a lot of momentum for us and we want to take our time to rest during this break, and come back refreshed to play Houston.” The Nets have a home-and-home with Milwaukee on the 19th and 20th, and the Houston Rockets visit Brooklyn on the 22nd.
On looking forward to participating in All-Star Weekend, Lopez said, “I am very excited, it is a huge honor and I really just can’t wait to get out there.”
Nets Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo Postgame VIDEO: