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Friday, February 28, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 112, Nuggets 89

By Paul Willis | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

DENVER -- Well, maybe that 44-point loss in Portland was more of an anomaly than a cause for alarm.

The Brooklyn Nets limped into Denver on Thursday night on the heels of one of the worst defeats in franchise history. But rather than allowing it to snowball into a deeper tailspin, the Nets came out with zest and quickly routed the fading Nuggets.

What it means: Brooklyn now has a chance to post a winning record on a seven-game road swing. If the Nets are victorious at Milwaukee on Saturday, they’ll secure a 4-3 mark during a 19-day stretch away from Barclays Center.

Kevin Garnett appeared in a rare stretch of back-to-back games after playing only 14 minutes the previous night in Portland, and the balanced Nets raced to a 29-8 lead after one quarter to take command. Garnett was needed for only 12 minutes with the Nets on cruise control.

Nets reserves outscored Nuggets subs 30-2 in the first half and 63-30 overall. Paul Pierce led Brooklyn with 18 points as all 13 Nets scored. That included Jason Collins, who scored his first three points since signing a 10-day contract.

Brooklyn (27-29) caught Denver at an opportune time, with the Nuggets' top two scorers Ty Lawson (broken rib) and Wilson Chandler (sprained knee) sidelined. The Nuggets (25-32) dropped their ninth of 10.

Stat of the night: The Nets had as many scorers (eight) in the opening quarter as the Nuggets had points.

In-game quote of the night: While the Nets were routing Denver in the first half, the Nuggets’ official Twitter feed attributed this comment to Denver assistant coach Melvin Hunt: “Run somebody over and try to get to the rim. It’s a long game with an old team.”

Comic relief: Nuggets fans receive a taco deal from a national chain when Denver scores at least 110 points. After the third quarter, with the Nets ahead 89-56, a “who wants tacos?” promotion roared over the loudspeakers. It was met with sarcastic applause.

Up next: Nets-Bucks on Saturday night at BMO Bradley Center.