All Photographs by Marc “Razz” Rasbury”
The New Jersey Nets improved to 5-1 at home since majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov announced the team was pulling out of the Chase for Carmelo Anthony 13 days ago, with an impressive 115-99 win against Anthony and his Denver Nuggets. The Nets game out with plenty of energy and passion, taking it’s first double-digit lead almost halfway through the first quarter, 19-7, on a Devin Harris lay up and free throw.
The Nets would lead 31-21 after the first, and score a season-high 63 at the half, on it’s way to a 63-50 lead, but a big performance by “Mr. Big Shot”, Chauncey Billups, in the second half, would cut the lead to 91-87 with 8:45 left in the fourth quarter on a Billup’s three, but the Nets would close out the game on a 24-12 run.
“They played hard tonight. Everyone contributed to that win. Brook (Lopez) came out and played great. Travis (Outlaw) got them going and made some shots. I think that first half gave them a lot of confidence. They gained a lot of confidence and momentum going into the second half” Anthony said after the game.
The Nets were led by Brook Lopez, with 27 points, 4, rebounds and 3 assists, and Travis Outlaw, with 21 points and 4 rebounds. Point guard Harris finished with 9 points and a career-high 18 assists, two days after setting his previous-career high of 16 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Anthony Morrow added 18 points on only 6 field goal attempts, making them all, including four 3-pointers, and Kris Humphries was one rebound shy of a double-double, with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
Anthony led the Nuggets with 37 points and 9 rebounds, while Chauncey Billups added 19 points and 4 assists. Nene finished with 16 points, and J.R. Smith came off the bench to add 10 points.
New York Yankees pitching ace C.C. Sabathia and star of the film Precious Gabourey Sidibe were in attendance.
The Nets host the Philadelphia Sixers Wednesday at the Prudential Center at 7pm.