Jim Mancari, SNYNets.com
After C.J. Watson’s one-point performance in Monday’s win over the Pacers, he was bound to have a better game Wednesday night against the Nuggets.
Watson not only had a better game, but he also turned in his best performance of the year with a season-high 25 points and six assists.
Watson, as well as the rest of the Nets, shot lights out from beyond the three-point line. Watson and Joe Johnson each knocked five three-pointers, while Gerald Wallace added four.
“C.J. was unbelievable,” P.J. Carlesimo said after the victory. “He played so well and hit so many big shots. He was looking for his shot and shooting aggressively tonight, which was great.”
Brooklyn collectively was 16-of-27 from downtown – a 59.3 percent clip, which is the best of the season. The Nets also shot a season-best 54.7 percent overall from the field.
“I think we were just making open shots,” Watson said. “Joe (Johnson) was getting double teamed for the most part. We were swinging the ball and knocking down three-point shots tonight.”
Denver is notorious for playing an up-tempo style of basketball, which the Nets knew from the beginning that they would not be to keep pace with. Instead, Brooklyn slowed down the pace and played its style of game.
“We did our best to keep it at our pace,” Brook Lopez said. “We tried to play in the half court as much as possible.”
After the Nets went up 20 in the third quarter, the Nuggets actually made a run to get within five at one point. But Brooklyn responded with another extended run of great ball movement and knocking down open shots.
“It really is just us being relentless, regardless of what happens,” Johnson said. “We know teams are going to make a run on us, which they did tonight. But we got back in the ballgame and at the same time, we kept our composure, ran our offense and got to the free-throw line when we needed to.”
Beating Denver, even without Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, is very impressive, Carlesimo said, especially as the Nets continue to bounce back from the bad loss against the Spurs from Sunday night.
“Anytime you beat Denver, anytime you beat George (Karl), it’s a hell of a win,” Carlesimo said. “I’m very, very pleased.”
With the win, the team heads into the All-Star break at 31-22. Brooklyn will play four straight games against .500 teams after the break, starting with a tough home-and-home series with the Milwaukee Bucks, a team the Nets have struggled with lately.
“It’s a huge confidence builder,” Lopez said. “It’s a lot of momentum for us. We want to take our time and rest during this break and come back refreshed and ready to play Tuesday.”
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.