Nets hope to rebound against Nuggets (Oct 29, 2017)

BY AP • October 28, 2017

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets will be looking to rebound -- literally and figuratively -- after a nightmarish showing Friday at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.

The Nets get their first chance to recover from their worst performance of the season Sunday when they host the Denver Nuggets.

Brooklyn is 3-3 after getting pounded by New York 107-86. Among the culprits for its worst loss of the season was rebounding.

The Nets gave up a 55-34 edge on the glass, including 19-4 on the offensive side. The Nets had plenty of missed shots as they shot 40.5 percent but allowed the Knicks to get 36 defensive rebounds.

"We came out the gate and they were the more aggressive team," Nets forward DeMarre Carroll said. "Credit to them. They basically just kicked our butts. They threw it up at the goal and just knocked us out of the way and went and got it."

It also highlighted the statistical disparities between home and road games for the Nets.

The Nets are 3-0 at home for the first time since winning their first five games at the Meadowlands in 2002-03.

They are unbeaten in Brooklyn by averaging 118 points, shooting 46.7 percent and averaging 45.7 rebounds. On the road, the Nets average 112.7 points, shoot 43.6 percent and average 42 rebounds.

It's a trend that might not bode well since the Nets play nine of 13 games on the road in November, but Brooklyn's lackluster showing was more frustrating because it occurred two days after a 112-107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"We have to play better and we have to handle success a little better," coach Kenny Atkinson said. "That is the next step for this team. We have good leaders. We will bounce back."

The Nets scored less than 90 points for the sixth time since Atkinson took the coaching job last season and it lowered their offensive rating to 110.2, which is still in the top-10 in the league.

D'Angelo Russell led the Nets with 15 points after missing Wednesday's game with a right knee sprain. He played only 17:36 and figures to see more minutes Sunday but could also use some more help as the Nets placed three in double figures instead of five or six.

The Nuggets (2-3) will be looking to get consecutive wins for the first time this season after getting a 105-100 win at Atlanta on Friday. They also will look to become the latest team to get a high scorer against the Nets, who have allowed an opposing player to get at least 30 points after Kristaps Porzingis scored 30 points Friday.

Like the Knicks did Friday night, Denver dominated inside, finishing with a 60-30 edge in the paint and a 24-13 advantage on second-chance points.

It highlighted a return to Atlanta for Paul Millsap, who spent the previous four seasons with the Hawks. He received a video tribute and was greeted warmly before totaling 16 points in 30:17 Friday.

"It means a lot, not just because it was Atlanta, but we needed a win bad," said Millsap, who is averaging 15.6 points and 6.8 rebounds. "Hopefully this starts something special for us. We're coming out of here with some confidence."

Millsap also scored seven points in the final four minutes, including a turnaround jumper with less than two minutes left to go.

Millsap was among five in double figures for Denver, which opened its four-game trip by shooting 38 percent in a 17-point defeat at Charlotte.

"We came in feeling we needed this game even though it's early in the season," Denver coach Mike Malone said.

Nikola Jokic paced the Nuggets with 18 points and 15 rebounds for his third straight productive game. He began the season with seven points on 3-of-13 shooting in the first two games but is averaging 21.6 points and 15 rebounds on 60.9 percent (25 of 41) from the field since then.

The Nets are 6-1 against Denver in their last seven meetings. They nearly blew a 29-point lead in a 116-111 home win on Dec. 7, and Denver claimed a 129-109 home win Feb. 24 when Gary Harris scored 25 points.



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