LeBron going back to Cavs:

Nets 119, Nuggets 108

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Guard Joe Johnson scored 13 of his 26 points in the third quarter and finished with nine assists, and backcourt mate C.J. Watson added 25 points and six assists as the Brooklyn Nets knocked off the Denver Nuggets 119-108 Wednesday night at the Barclays Center.

Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 26 points and nine assists. Brook Lopez contributed 23 points and eight boards for Brooklyn.

The Nets (31-22) broke a string of eight straight games of scoring fewer than 100 points, while Denver (33-21) topped the century mark for the 13th game in a row.

The Nuggets ended the first quarter with a 26-23 edge when Evan Fournier drained a 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer. Fournier took the only 3-pointer of the period for Denver, while the Nets kept pace by connecting on four of six shots from beyond the arc.

Kris Humphries sparked the Nets by scoring eight points in the first 3:49 of the second quarter. Humphries' bank shot handed Brooklyn a 37-35 edge. Soon after, Lawson began to attack the basket. His fast-break layup was converted into a three-point play, the start of a 12-point quarter for Lawson, which he capped with a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper that cut the Nuggets' deficit to 55-54 with 2:33 left in the half.

Brooklyn dominated the paint in the final minutes of the second quarter behind Lopez, who had 14 points in the first half. Reggie Evans sank two foul shots with 1:06 to go, but when he missed two free throws with 22.8 seconds left, he hustled to grab the rebound of his second shot. That led to a fade-away, turnaround jumper by Lopez with 3.7 seconds to go for a 62-57 Brooklyn lead at the break.

The Nets turned the ball over only four times in the first half and drained nine of 14 3-point attempts, led by Johnson's 3-of-4 shooting from long range.

The shots continued to fall for the Nets in the third quarter as Watson and Johnson led the long-range barrage by the home team. Lopez ignited a 12-point spree for Brooklyn with a baseline leaner that he rolled off his fingertips. Johnson then hit a 3-pointer from the left corner and Wallace followed with another 3. Johnson hit a jumper before Watson sank two foul shots for an 80-61 lead with 6:50 left in the third.

Watson's 3-pointer staked the Nets to an 86-66 lead with 3:58 to go in the third. Johnson's drive in the final second of the period gave Brooklyn a 95-81 lead entering the fourth.

NOTES: The Nuggets did not dress starters Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala for the second straight game. Gallinari, who leads the team with a 17.2 scoring average, and Iguodala (13.4 ppg., 4.7 assists) were replaced by D-League call-ups, 6-10 center Quincy Miller and 6-6 guard Julyan Stone. Gallinari has a sinus infection and Iguodala is out with a cervical strain. ... The Nets were without guard Deron Williams (16.7 ppg.) for a second straight game because of inflammation of his ankle joint linings. ... Denver made its first trip to the Barclays Center, having scored at least 100 points in 12 straight games. In contrast, the Nets hadn't reached 100 points in their previous eight games. ... Karl was asked about the matchup between two of the best rebounders in the league, Brooklyn's Reggie Evans (9.3 rpg), who had 22 rebounds on Monday against the Pacers, and the Nuggets' Kenneth Faried (9.9 rpg), who hails from Newark, N.J. "It's like WWE (professional wrestling), there's going to be a lot of physical contact," Karl said. "Reggie (Evans) has done for 15 years what Faried has done for a couple. Not many players have become a foundation on a team as quickly as Faried has. I've always felt rebounding was a huge part of the fourth quarter." ... The Nets are 4-0 in overtime games this season and have won eight OT games in a row overall. ... Both teams return to action Tuesday after the NBA All-Star game Sunday in Houston. The Nuggets are at home against the Boston Celtics, and the Nets are at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.
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