Nuggets-Nets Preview

The Denver Nuggets have gone unbeaten over the last two weeks

thanks in part to a collective group effort.

While the injury-plagued Brooklyn Nets continue to play

short-handed, they pulled out a rare win over the weekend.

The Nuggets will try to extend their winning streak to seven

when they visit Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

Reserve guard Nate Robinson led the way with 23 points as Denver

(10-6) opened a season-high six-game road trip with Sunday’s 112-98

win over Toronto. Five other players scored in double figures, and

the Nuggets’ bench outscored the Raptors’ reserves 72-16.

“Seventy-two points off our bench is huge for us tonight and

that’s what it takes, contributions from everybody on this team,”

said coach Brian Shaw, whose club is averaging 45.2 bench points to

rank second in the NBA.

Timofey Mozgov scored 16 to go along with 15 rebounds as Denver

erased an early 15-point deficit. Fellow reserve Darrell Arthur

scored a season-high 14 on 7-of-7 shooting.

“I knew we were going to grind our way back into it, like we do.

We are starting to get it now,” Arthur said. “I think our chemistry

is getting a lot better; this is our sixth game in a row that we

have won. I think we are playing really well right now.”

Robinson has given the Nuggets a huge lift during the winning

streak, posting 15.3 points per game after averaging 6.9 over the

first 10. Denver is shooting 48.3 percent during its run.

“For us, we just stick together. Like coach said, we have a

tag-team mentality which is, first team wear them down and second

team wear them out,” Robinson said. “Early in the year a lot of

guys on the team, a lot of guys on the bench, weren’t making shots

and now we are in our rhythm.”

The Nuggets have dropped three of four road matchups against the

Nets (5-12), who return home after beating Memphis 97-88 on

Saturday. Joe Johnson compiled 26 points, Andray Blatche had 21 and

Brook Lopez scored 12 of his 20 in the fourth quarter in his second

game back after missing seven with a sprained ankle.

“We’ve got somebody at the end of the game who can close the

game for us,” Blatche said of Lopez. “That’s key. That’s been one

of our downfalls, not finishing quarters. Now that he’s back, we

can feed him and play off him.”

While the Nets are glad to have Lopez back, Saturday marked

their first game since losing Paul Pierce to a broken bone in his

right hand. Point guard Deron Williams, who has missed eight of the

last nine games with a lingering ankle injury, also remains out

along with Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Jason Terry (knee).

“Injuries are a part of the game,” coach Jason Kidd told the

Nets’ official website. “You just hope that there are speedy

recoveries. And for the guys in that locker room that can play, I

believe in each one of those guys and that we can find a way to win

until we do get whole.”

Lopez, averaging a team-leading 20.0 points, has scored a

combined 50 on 60.6 percent shooting in the last two home meetings

against Denver.

The Nets, though, have lost four in a row at home to match their

longest skid at Barclays Center since it opened last season.