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Nuggets 109, Nets 87

The SportsXchange

DENVER - Evan Fournier came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points, and the Denver Nuggets extended their home winning streak to 18 with a 109-87 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

Fournier, a rookie, rewarded the organization showed in him by using a first-round pick on him last June. He had nine points in the second quarter to lead a game-changing surge.

Wilson Chandler had 16 for Denver, which ended a two-game skid and stayed ahead of Memphis for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.

The Nets fell three-and-a-half games behind New York in the Atlantic Division despite 19 points from Deron Williams and 15 points and 16 rebounds by Reggie Evans.

The Nuggets might have to get used to life without Ty Lawson, who was diagnosed with a plantar fascia tear in his right foot Thursday. Lawson missed three games with a strained heel before playing Wednesday, but he was hobbled in 19 minutes.

Fournier had played just five of the previous 14 games but he looked comfortable in scoring nine points in eight first-half minutes.

He was on the floor in the second quarter when Denver outscored the Nets 29-15 to take a 55-38 halftime lead.

A poor second quarter prevented the Nets from clinching a winning record on this eight-game road trip. Brooklyn won four of its first five heading into Denver with games against Utah and Cleveland left before heading home.

The Nets tried to get back into it, cutting a 22-point deficit to 12 on a Brooks Lopez hook with 9:40 left. But Denver went on an 11-2 run to put it away.

The Nets hurt themselves by going 18-for-36 from the line and committing 21 turnovers.

NOTES: The Nets were without Joe Johnson for the third straight game. Johnson is out with a bruised right quad. ... With Lawson possibly missing several games, Nuggets coach George Karl will be forced to be creative with his lineups. Andre Miller is the only true point guard, so Denver could utilize a bigger lineup from time to time with Anthony Randolph, Wilson Chandler in the frontcourt with Kosta Koufos or JaVale McGee. "I could play really big for a period of time, with A.I. (Andre Iguodala) and Corey (Brewer) in the backcourt," Karl said. "You're athletic, you can run, you can do some things defensively." Karl added he's comfortable with the team he has going forward even if Lawson is out for a while. "I think we've got to stay with the crew we've got unless (John) Stockton wants to come out of retirement," he said. ... The Nets' 20 road wins entering Friday tied a franchise record set in 2005-06.
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