The Nets overcame a big bounce-back night from Denver’s Nikola Jokic to win their third straight. In an offensive funk for the last four games, Jokic had a season-high 37 points and tied his career best with 21 rebounds.
It wasn’t enough to prevent Denver’s first home loss of the season.
Jokic took only one shot Wednesday night in a loss to Memphis, a 3-pointer in the final seconds that would have given Denver the win. He took only 18 shots in the first four games of November but topped that before the end of the third quarter.
He had 11 points in the first quarter and a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds at halftime.
Denver appeared to take control after Jokic blocked Jarrett Allen, grabbed the rebound and fed Malik Beasley for a layup and a 108-106 lead with 1:23 left. After a Brooklyn miss, Paul Millsap’s two free throws made it a four-point game.
The Nets tied it with 29 seconds left and Jokic was called for traveling with 22 seconds left.
LeVert got the ball up top and was blanketed by Gary Harris. He broke through the tight defense to get into the lane and hit a soft lob to give Brooklyn the win.
D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 23 points, and Allen had 18.
Nets: DeMarre Carroll scored nine points in 14 minutes in his season debut. He missed the first nine games following right ankle surgery. … The Nuggets played a short tribute video for Kenneth Faried’s return to Denver. Faried was traded to Brooklyn after seven years with the Nuggets.
Nuggets: Denver attempted two free throws in the first half and 32 in the second half. … Harris scored a season-low four points. It is the first time in 12 games he hasn’t scored in double figures.
GOT YOUR BACK
Denver head coach Michael Malone defended Jokic for his comments last week that drew a $25,000 fine from the NBA. Jokic’s was dinged for his use of a gay slur after a win in Chicago on Oct. 31.
“There’s so many things being said about this poor kid, and I understand some of it,” Malone said. “Those of us who know him, give the kid a break. He made a mistake, he paid for it, get off his back a little bit. He’s a great kid, he loves everybody and meant no offense to anybody. He’s going to be fine and let the kid be a 23-year-old young kid who’s going to have a great, great future in a Nuggets uniform.”
Nets: Continue their four-game trip at Golden State on Saturday night.
Nuggets: Host Milwaukee on Sunday night.
Source: Fox Sports