Player grades: Spencer Dinwiddie scores 15 as Nets beat Nuggets 122-120

The Brooklyn Nets visited the Denver Nuggets on Sunday for the first time this season and 122-120. Brooklyn leads the regular-season series 1-0.

For the Nets, Mikal Bridges had 25 points and three rebounds while Nic Claxton had 20 points and six rebounds. Dorian Finney-Smith had 15 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 15 points.

For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic had 35 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists while Michael Porter Jr. had 23 points and four assists. Jamal Murray had 16 points before leaving the game with knee soreness and Aaron Gordon had 13 points.

In the first half, both teams played to a draw in the first quarter. However, Denver was attacking the glass early by getting as many offensive rebounds as Brooklyn had total rebounds. The Nets started the second quarter off wonderfully while Nikola Jokic was on the bench and built as much as a 10-point lead. However, once Jokic came back into the game, he guided the Nuggets to a 30-12 run over the final seven minutes of the second quarter that was capped off with a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Jamal Murray.

In the second half, Brooklyn started the half with a dominant third quarter as everything was working on both ends of the floor for them. The Nets found a way of limiting how the Nuggets were attacking their defense and were able to take full advantage of being smaller and quicker than Denver. This game came down to the final moments thanks to some sloppy play and some dominant play by Jokic.

Here are your Nets player grades:

Spencer Dinwiddie: A

Dinwiddie did a good job of scoring the ball in this game. It wasn’t his most efficient performance, but he had some success getting to the rim and getting to the free-throw line. Dinwiddie will have games like today where he can’t buy a bucket from three-point land, but a few of those shots were end of the shot clock kind of play. He was incredible passing the ball as he consistently found his teammates in scoring position and was picking the Nuggets apart in the pick-and-roll.

Mikal Bridges: A-

Bridges did a great job of scoring the ball in this game. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Bridges was able to get his shot from all over the floor and he had little to no problem with creating his openings. Bridges isn’t much of a driver at this point of his career, but he was able to get to the free-throw line a lot in this contest.

Cameron Johnson: B+

Johnson did a good job of scoring the ball in this one. He struggled a bit from behind the three-point line, but he was impressive with his mid-range shot and he has been showing improvement with driving to the basket to either score or get free-throws. Johnson did a little bit of everything in this game as he made some nice plays on the defensive end as well.

Dorian Finney-Smith: A+

Finney-Smith was awesome in this game. While he had some defensive miscues in the first half, Finney-Smith got his act together in the second half and was incredible on the defensive end of the floor. Not only that, but Finney-Smith was also clutch from three-point land as he had arguably his best three-point shooting game for the Nets since he arrived in Brooklyn. He was a menace on the defensive end and was picking pockets all game long.

Nic Claxton: A

Claxton was spectacular in this contest. He was uber-efficient from the field as he even made a mid-range jump shot with a soft touch along with his normal array of layups and hook shots around the basket. Claxton did a great job of putting pressure on Jokic and drew some free-throws out of it too. He did a good job rebounding and he was awesome passing the ball as he was finding his teammates all over the floor. Claxton had a rough defensive game, but that’s what guarding Nikola Jokic is like.

Nerlens Noel: D

Noel did not play well in this one as he wasn’t able to make any contributions on the offensive end. He looked awkward trying to operate in the free-throw line area and with Nikola Jokic allowing the ball to be funneled to that spot on the floor, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn decided to go with his small-ball lineup in this one when Claxton wasn’t in the game. Noel did draw a charge on Jokic, but other than that, he couldn’t do much else on defense.

Royce O'Neale: B+

O’Neale had another good game off the bench for the Nets in this one. He did a good job of shooting the ball in this one and he was able to provide the swiss-army knife value that he has done all season. O’Neale was huge on the glass and he did a good job of passing the ball and pushing the pace when handling the ball in transition.

Seth Curry: B

Curry did a good job of scoring the ball in this one. He could not buy a bucket from three-point range, but he was effective with his mid-range game and getting to the basket. Curry was a +6 in plus/minus as he was good on both ends of the floor and helped the Nets play an effective small-ball style.

Joe Harris: B

Harris did a great job of shooting the ball in this game. Despite not doing much in the first half, Harris made three big threes in the second half as Brooklyn built another double-digit lead on the Denver Nuggets before the final minutes of the game. Harris gave another Joe E. Buckets performance for the Nets fans to enjoy.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire