Fournier Leads Nuggets In Lawson’s Absence
DENVER (AP) – Rookie Evan Fournier scored a season-high 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and the Denver Nuggets extended their home winning streak to 18 games by beating the Brooklyn Nets 109-87 Friday night.
Denver improved to 33-3 at the Pepsi Center this season, the best home record in the league.
Wilson Chandler had 16 points and Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufos added 13 points apiece for the Nuggets, who are one win shy of matching their longest home winning streak since Jan. 28-April 20, 1989, despite missing injured point guard Ty Lawson. He was ruled out for the third time in four games after an exam Thursday of his strained heel also revealed a plantar fascia tear in his right foot.
In a statement, the Nuggets said surgery was not needed and characterized Lawson’s playing status as day to day.
Deron Williams scored 19 points for the Nets, who missed a chance for their team-record 21st road win of the season. It was the Nets’ sixth consecutive loss to the Nuggets in Denver.
Andray Blatche had 16 points and Reggie Evans added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Nets, who are trying to finish a season with a winning road record for the first time in team history.
Trailing by as many as 22 points in the third, the Nets went into the final period down 80-66 after C.J. Watson hit a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded ending the quarter.
A follow shot by Blatche narrowed the Nets’ deficit to 86-74 with 8:21 left but the Nuggets scored the next six points, capped by a driving layup by Fournier, who was seeing increased minutes because of Lawson’s absence. The Nets did not threaten again as Denver closed the game with its reserves on the floor.
A jumper by Kris Humphries pulled the Nets within 33-28 in the second quarter. Ignited by a driving layup by Danilo Gallinari and a 3-pointer by Chandler, the Nuggets responded with a 12-0 run that put them in front 45-28 with 5:23 remaining in the second quarter.
The Nets fell behind 55-38 at the half after being outscored 29-15 overall in the second.
NOTES: The Nets’ Joe Johnson missed a third consecutive game with a right quad injury. … Fournier’s previous high in points was 10. … The Nuggets haven’t lost at home since a Jan. 18 defeat to Washington 112-108.
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