Nets open road trip against Nuggets

10:55 AM, Jan 11, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The struggling New Jersey Nets kick off a four-game road trip in the Rockies tonight against the Denver Nuggets.

The Nets have dropped eight of nine since winning their season opener with the latest defeat coming Monday in Newark when Josh Smith scored 26 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat New Jersey for the third time this season, holding on for a 106-101 win.

Anthony Morrow scored 20 points to lead New Jersey. Rookie MarShon Brooks had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Deron Williams scored 15 with 14 assists, but the Nets fell to 2-8 this season.

Two of those losses came to Atlanta last month. Perhaps tired of losing to the same team, Nets coach Avery Johnson struggled to spit out the word he wanted to describe his team's start Monday night. New Jersey shot just 29.4 percent in the first quarter and trailed by as many as 16.

"We just got off to such a lethargic start," said Johnson, tripping over the word lethargic. "That's how bad it was," he said. "I can't even pronounce the word."

After tonight the Nets, who are 2-4 as the visitor on the year, will continue their swing with visits to Phoenix, Utah and the LA Clippers.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, have dropped two in a row, including the opener of a four-game homestand on Monday when Carl Landry had 21 points and Chris Kaman added 20 points and seven rebounds as the New Orleans Hornets snapped a six- game losing streak with a 94-81 win at the Pepsi Center.

Danilo Gallinari, who had scored 20 points in four of his past five games coming in, and Ty Lawson poured in 15 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have dropped the consecutive contests after winning four in a row.

"It's a tough home loss, you don't like losing them," Nuggets head coach George Karl said. "I think you're seeing a lot of these games in the lockout type of year that one team kind of comes in and does all the right things and the other team is searching and we didn't find many answers."

Denver, which is 4-1 at Pepsi Center, will finish its residency with games against Miami and Utah.

The Nuggets have won four straight over New Jersey in Denver and have lost back-to-back home games just twice over the past four seasons.

The Sports Network

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