- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Brooklyn Nets face the Nuggets on Thursday night at Denver's Pepsi Center, completing their 14th back-to-back set of the season. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:
HOW WILL THEY RESPOND? The Nets suffered their worst loss of the season -- 124-80 -- Wednesday in Portland. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were particularly upset by the way the team played. The Nets (26-29, 3-10 in the second half of back-to-backs) are going to need to come with a better effort Thursday night -- even if the Nuggets (25-31) have lost three straight and are just 2-8 in their past 10.
WILL KG PLAY? Garnett usually sits the second game when the Nets have games on back-to-back days, but he played just 14 minutes Wednesday night. If KG doesn’t play, that would probably open up more minutes for Jason Collins, who got in during garbage time Wednesday when the game was well out of reach.
WHAT’S UP WITH JOE? Joe Johnson is averaging just 12 points on 36.1 percent shooting in his past three games. It’s a good thing Deron Williams looks like his old self again, because Johnson sure doesn’t.
CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS: The Nuggets rank fifth in rebounding, which could prove to be a real asset against a Brooklyn team that ranks 29th in that department. J.J. Hickson and Kenneth Faried combine to grab 17 boards per game. The Nets have not earned a road win here since coach Jason Kidd was their point guard and had 18 points and 12 assists on Jan. 27, 2007. Nuggets PG Ty Lawson has missed the past seven games (ribs), but who knows if that even matters. After all, Blazers star LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t play Wednesday night and the Nets still got pummeled.
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