When news broke about 30 minutes ago that Aaron Gordon was out due to right calf strain, not only did the Denver Nuggets lose another player to injury, they also lost the player tasked with guarding Kevin Durant. . It went rather well for the Nuggets in the first half as they built up a 21 point lead, but the second half was a whole different story as Brooklyn beat Denver 69-48 in the last two. quarters to win a 125-119. victory on the road.
The first quarter looked like it was going to be a special night for the Nuggets, especially for Michael Porter Jr. Behind five three points, 17 of Porter’s 21 points in the first half arrived in the first quarter. Porter just couldn’t miss as he was draining triples left and right to help the Nuggets take a big lead:
Then the second quarter unfolded in which the Nuggets deployed Markus Howard, who has only played 33 games this season averaging 3.3 minutes per game. Don’t worry though as Howard absolutely caught on fire with his best streak as a professional scoring 10 points in the period behind two three points. Howard did all of this with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant on the floor because he really helped the Nuggets maintain their big lead in the first half.
Denver ended up taking a 71-56 halftime locker room lead behind Porter and Howard’s play as they looked to capitalize on it to start the third quarter. Narrator: They didn’t. Brooklyn opened the third quarter on an 11-4 run and quickly came back into the game as the Nuggets held only a 104-97 lead for three quarters.
The Nets’ comeback was sparked by Blake Griffin, who scored 16 points in the third quarter to bring Brooklyn back into the game. It was Griffin’s vintage performance in the third quarter as he finished at the rim, drilling three times, and the Nuggets simply had no way of stopping him. Irving also had 15 points during the quarter to give the Nets a chance to get into the final 12 minutes of play.
Brooklyn controlled the game for most of the fourth quarter and really took control late largely due to a few big shots from Durant and Irving. It wasn’t the best fourth quarter for the Nuggets offensively, as the Nets were able to retire late with a 125-119 victory.
Jokic led the way in Denver offensively with 29 points on 10 of 21 shots from the field, with seven rebounds and six assists. Porter also finished with a solid 28-point stat line behind six three-pointers. Facundo Campazzo finished in double digits with 19 points, as did Howard (13) and Austin Rivers (12).
The Nuggets will be back in action Tuesday night when they head to Charlotte to face the Hornets.