When Jason Kidd looked down at the opposing sideline Tuesday night at Barclays Center, he saw the guy who was in line to get the Nets' coaching gig before Kidd got it. That would be Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, who was actually worried that the Nets might rally around Kidd following the reassignment of assistant Lawrence Frank.
Turns out he had nothing to worry about after Denver throttled the Nets, 111-87, sending them to their 10th loss in their last 13 games.
Beginning a stretch in which they'll play nine of their next 12 games at home, the Nets (5-13) were outplayed once more in the third quarter.
So here's the season in a nutshell for the Nets: On the day they basically cut ties with the assistant responsible for implementing their defense, they came within four points of allowing a season high.
"We are just not giving ourselves a chance," said Joe Johnson, who led the Nets with 22 points, "and that's the most frustrating thing."
A dejected Brook Lopez simply pointed to the dry erase board in the Nets locker room, which listed the particulars: The Nets were trailing 60-56 with 8:36 left in the third quarter when Denver (11-6) went on a 20-4 run, outscoring the Nets 31-15 in the third and transforming the Nets' 58-50 halftime deficit into an 89-65 hole going into the fourth. The Nuggets punctuated the run with three high-flying alley-oops.
Former Knick Timofey Mozgov had 17 points and 20 rebounds to lead Denver.
"We are trying to figure out who we are and fix this," Kevin Garnett said. "We are home and getting beat by 30, 40 points . . . We've got to be able to have a better showing at home . . . And we will. We have no choice."