Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Although it went down to the wire, the Brooklyn Nets were able to hang on against the Western Conference powerhouse Denver Nuggets. 

  • Brooklyn Nets 135 (29-27)
  • Denver Nuggets 130 (37-17)
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • NBA, Final, Box Score

Matt Brooks

The Brooklyn Nets really love to make things exciting until the very end, don’t they?

After getting eviscerated on their home floor by the Milwaukee Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets were looking to bounce back in a big way. Unfortunately, this meant they had to go through the Denver Nuggets; the surprising two-seed from the Western Conference.

However, for the first three quarters, the Brooklyn Nets certainly looked up to the task. In the second quarter alone, Brooklyn was able to torch the Nuggets’ defense for 42 points.

D’Angelo Russell was magnificent once again, splashing six of his nine attempted threes. Many of them came in transition, provoking Nuggets’ coach Mike Malone to blow through multiple timeouts.

However, this was an all-around effort by the Brooklyn Nets. Of the 10 players who stepped on the floor for Brooklyn, a whopping 7 of them scored double-digit points. As a result, the Nets shot a superbly efficient 51.1 percent from the field and a season-best 55.9 percent from deep. Now that’s one hell of a follow-up to the abysmal 11.9 percent showing from deep that occurred two nights ago.

Part of this can be attributed to the return of Brooklyn’s sharp-shooter, Joe Harris. Harris was impeccable tonight, catching the Nuggets’ defense off guard with fearless drives to the rim. He also sank a trio of three-pointers. Lumber Joe finished with 17 points on the night.

DeMarre Carroll continued his strong play and filled up the box score with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. He was particularly engaged on defense, poking the ball away from Nikola Jokic and his teammates on numerous occasions. Well, four times, to be exact.

However, perhaps most impressive was recent new-comer, Treveon Graham. After struggling with his shot early into his tenure, Graham was Mr. Reliable tonight from deep. Graham canned four of his six total threes.

Even more surprising was his fearless pursuit to the rim. Two plays stood in particular; in both of them, Graham lofted up gorgeous floaters. This was completely new ground for the 25-year-old. Up to this point, Graham has mostly been a specialist on defense. With each and every game, he looks more comfortable in Brooklyn’s offense and is carving out a nice role on the team.

In the fourth quarter, things got a little tight. Denver’s All-Star reserve, Nikola Jokic, finally got himself going. Jokic used his size as an advantage on multiple plays to bully his way to the basket. Monte Morris was also a problem for the Nets all night long, scoring a plethora of jump shots against Brooklyn’s defense.

Denver played like a team that refused to give up.

However, for every Denver comeback push, Brooklyn did just enough to stay in front.

In the end, Brooklyn was able to hold on, as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sank a clutch free throw to seal the game.

Brooklyn will look to make it two straight as they host the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

An NBA fanatic who specializes in the advanced analytics of the game. I cover the Brooklyn Nets here in the city. Follow me on Twitter for semi-witty basketball tweets. @MattBrooksNBA