DENVER // The Denver Nuggets avenged their worst defeat of the season by thrashing the New Jersey Nets 121-96 on Monday night. JR Smith and Nene Hilario scored 19 points apiece and four other Nuggets put up double-figures to make amends for a 114-70 defeat to the Nets on Feb 7. "We owed them," said the forward Kenyon Martin, who had missed five of the previous six games due to a back injury. "I don't want to jeopardise what we've done (to get me healthy) the last few days, but it just feels good being able to run up the court with the guys."
The Nets were without high-scoring point guard Devin Harris, who suffered a strained shoulder against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. Vince Carter carried the load with a game-high 32 points and guard Keyon Dooling filled in with 17 but it was not enough to stop the Nets losing their fourth in a row. At 28-39, New Jersey are two games out of an Eastern Conference playoff spot with 15 games remaining.
The Northwest Division-leading Nuggets (43-25) are a half-game behind the Houston Rockets for the third best record in the Western Conference. "Our formula's pretty easy. Get 25 assists and hold the team under 100 points, we usually win," said the Denver coach George Karl. *Reuters