Twelve years later, Kidd, now coach of the Brooklyn Nets,
probably got a sense of deja vu.
Forward Paul Pierce scored 18 points before sitting out the entire
fourth quarter, and the Nets raced out to a big lead early and never
relented in a 112-89 win over the Nuggets on Thursday night.
Guard Marcus Thornton scored 10 points in his second game since
joining Brooklyn at the trade deadline last week, and forward Mason
Plumlee added 10 points. Nets forward Joe Johnson also scored 10
points before watching much of the game in his warmups.
"I don't know what you can take away from it," Johnson said. "It
felt like a pickup game."
It was the kind of effort Kidd was looking for after his team was on
the wrong end of a 44-point blowout in Portland on Wednesday. The
Nets were in control from the start Thursday and were never
"We didn't play well last night at all, but we had another game,"
Kidd said. "We came, we showed. Right from the tip, the guys came
with the energy, defensively we got stops, and from there we started
The Nets have played well since the beginning of 2014. They were 11
games under .500 when the year started, but a 17-8 run has them
27-29 and within reach of the Toronto Raptors for first place in the
Injuries hurt the Nets early in the season, and they suffered a
24-point loss to Denver in Brooklyn on Dec. 3. Forward Andrei
Kirilenko as well as Pierce and point guard Deron Williams missed
They all played Thursday, and they embarrassed the now-woeful
Nuggets despite solid games from Denver forward Kenneth Faried and
guard Randy Foye. Faried had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Foye
finished with 15 points.
"I didn't say anything, I just told them when practice was
tomorrow," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said of his postgame talk.
"There's not really much you can say in a situation like this right
now, emotions being what they are. I thought it was better to forget
about it and we'll get after it tomorrow."
The players might have nightmares about Denver's worst period of the
season. The Nuggets shot 3-for-18 from the field in the first
quarter and had as many points as turnovers -- eight.
It was the lowest-scoring quarter of the season for Denver, and it
led to a blowout defeat on national TV for the second time in a
week. The Chicago Bulls beat the Nuggets by 28 last Friday.
Denver missed layups and dunks in its worst quarter in years. The
franchise low is three points, set Nov. 27, 2002, at San Antonio.
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"I think I can speak for everybody in the locker room when I say to
be part of something like tonight, it's embarrassing," said Nuggets
forward J.J. Hickson, who had 14 points and seven rebounds. "We know
exactly what we have to do to win, and we're just not doing it."
The Nets took advantage of Denver's poor start. They led 29-8 after
the first quarter and 49-18 midway through the second.
The Nuggets went on an 11-2 run to get within 22 points before
halftime, but Brooklyn outscored them 30-20 in the third to squelch
"We looked fresh after the back-to-back," Kidd said. "Normally we
don't look fresh. The guys were getting stops, and we were getting
easy baskets. We were sharing the ball, multiple guys were touching
the ball, it wasn't just one guy just taking it and shooting it.
Guys were creating movement, and there was a lot of trust
The Nets led by as many as 38 in the second half in handing Denver
its ninth loss in 10 games.
The packed Pepsi Center had a mass exodus late in the third quarter,
but the fans who stuck around gave Nets center Jason Collins a warm
welcome when he entered the game with 8:02 remaining.
Collins, who signed a 10-day contract with Brooklyn on Monday, is
the first openly gay player to compete in the NBA. He scored his
first bucket of the season and finished with three points and four
"I got them a bucket, and of course I had my usual three, four, five
fouls," Collins said.
NOTES: Nuggets F Wilson Chandler did not dress for the game because
of a right knee injury. Chandler practiced Wednesday, but the knee
acted up at Thursday's shootaround. Chandler's absence, along with
injuries to F Darrell Arthur (left hip strain), G Nate Robinson
(left knee surgery) and G Ty Lawson (fractured rib), left Denver
with nine available players. ... Nets C Jason Collins said he
planned to meet with the parents of Matthew Shepard after the game.
Shepard was killed in Wyoming in 1998 in an anti-gay attack, and he
is one of the reasons why Collins, the first openly gay man to play
in the NBA, wears No. 98. Shepard was killed in 1998. ... The
Nuggets have used 19 starting lineups this season, and the Nets have
used 20. Brooklyn ranks fourth in the league in that category.
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