New Jersey Nets-Denver Nuggets: Nets Hang Tough, Can't Pull Out Win in Fourth
In the closing seconds of the New Jersey Nets' Saturday night game against the Denver Nuggets, with the team trailing by two, Brook Lopez missed what would have been a game-tying layup.
The Nets would not score again as the Nuggets eventually won 107-103 after Carmelo Anthony hit a pair of free throws.
Lopez had 20 points on the night while going 9-for-21 from the field, although he did not visit the free throw line until there were about three minutes left in the game.
In what has been a bit of a theme so far this year, Lopez repeatedly settled for outside shots and failed to make strong moves at the rim.
On his missed lay up near the end of the game, it appeared he could have gone up and tried to jam it home, which could have possibly led to an and-one situation. Instead he tried to bank it off glass and missed the shot.
He's still in the process of learning some things and this game will provide him with more to work on.
In a possible audition for his future team, Derrick Favors had a nice game, going 4-of-6 for 14 points while collecting eight rebounds.
The Nets as a team had seven players in double figures as everyone who saw extended minutes had decent, but not great, games.
The team shot 40 percent, failing to cash in on several opportunities by missing open shots or not finishing at the basket.
New Jersey was finishing up a four-game roadtrip in this one.
They went 1-3 on the trip and will surely be kicking themselves for each loss as they had chances to win all four games, but failed in their late-game execution.
That is what separates the good teams from the mediocre ones.
For Denver, Anthony finished 11-of-25 for 28 points. He also had eight rebounds and five assists.
Nene added in 22 points and eight rebounds of his own. Ty Lawson and J.R. Smith had 15 and 11 points, respectively.
The Nuggets shot 48 percent from the field and 54 percent from three, displaying the firepower that has made them one of the elite offensive teams in the league.
Not to be overly optimistic, but New Jersey can still feel good about themselves despite this and other recent losses as these could very well be the types of games they find ways to win in the second half of the season.
We will just have to patient and let the team grow a bit more.
The Nets have the next two days off before returning home to host Atlanta on Tuesday.
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