Mozgov dominates inside, leads Nuggets past Nets

Dylan Butler, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK - A third-year pro out of Russia, Timofey Mozgov says his English isn't very good.
His game spoke loudly and clearly Tuesday night as he led the Denver Nuggets to a 111-87 victory over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Mozgov, who averages 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, came off the bench and exploded for a team-high 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for Denver (11-6), which won its seventh straight game after starting the season 0-3.
"The harder you play, the more you stay on the court," Mozgov said. "I want to stay on the court for [48] minutes, but I know it's not possible. I just have to push hard, that's it."
Denver coach Brian Shaw said he went to Mozgov earlier than usual because he felt he had a mismatch down now against Brooklyn (5-13). The Nuggets exploited it to the tune of an 18-4 edge in points in the paint early.
Against J.J. Hickson, who Shaw described as an "undersized five," Nets center Brook Lopez scored 10 of his 12 points in the first quarter. But Mozgov changed things quickly for the Nuggets, who outrebounded the Nets 56-37.
"Timofey Mozgov has been playing lights out, rebounding the ball, scoring the ball," Shaw said. "It was just a good all-around effort."
Paced by Mozgov, and forwards Jordan Hamilton (15 points) and Darrell Arthur, Denver's bench outscored the Nets reserves 57-31.
"They believe," Shaw said. "We talked about getting contributions from everybody. They're aware they produce the second-most points off the bench out of any team in the league. They take pride in that. Now they're starting to match the defensive intensity with what they're able to do offensively."
Led by guard Joe Johnson, who scored a game-high 22 points, the Nets took a 24-16 lead midway through the first quarter.
"We're going out there playing with I think enough to win, night in, night out," Johnson said. "I think we go out there as a confident group, but it just seems as though when a team makes a run on us, it's like we have no way of recovering for some reason, so that's tough."
Forward Kenneth Faried, who had 11 first-half points on 4-of-7 shooting en route to 15 for the game, led Denver back in the second quarter, and the Nuggets took a 58-50 lead into halftime.
Denver put the game away in the third quarter, going on a crushing 20-4 run, which included back-to-back alley-oops, the first served up by point guard Ty Lawson (13 points, six assists) to Faried and the second from guard Randy Foye (11 points) to forward Wilson Chandler.
On consecutive 19-foot jumpers by Arthur, who had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, the Nuggets had an 80-60 lead with 2:13 remaining in the third. Guard Tyshawn Taylor (12 points) ended a stretch of 5:40 without a point for the Nets, sinking two free throws with 1:55 left in the third.
"We sometimes can't put the ball in the basket and (we) stop playing on the other end," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "So you're talking about a four-point game with eight minutes or so, that turns into a 20-4 run."
Denver, which had six players score in double figures, netted seven straight points to end the third quarter, capped by a 3-pointer by Hamilton, to take an 89-65 lead into the final 12 minutes.
"It was just our patience and then we found a way to make shots, get guys going and we just kept attacking," Denver guard Nate Robinson said. "That's what we're going to do all season."
NOTES: Brooklyn F Mirza Teletovic sprained his left hand in the first half. X-rays were negative. ... Nets coach Jason Kidd announced before the game that assistant coach Lawrence Frank was "reassigned" within the organization. Frank will no longer be on the bench or at practice. "It's just different philosophies," Kidd said. "That's all." ... G Paul Pierce (broken right hand) and G Deron Williams (sprained left ankle) were out for the Nets. Pierce, who suffered the injury at Houston on Friday, will be sidelined two to four weeks. ... F Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL tear) and C JaVale McGee (left tibia stress fracture) were out for Denver. ... The Nuggets continue their six-game road trip Wednesday when they play the Cavaliers in Cleveland. ... The Nets host the New York Knicks on Thursday in their first back-to-back home games of the season. Brooklyn is the last NBA team to play consecutive home games.

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