Devin Harris scored 14 of his 28 points from the free-throw line and the New Jersey Nets won their season-high fourth straight game with a stunning 114-70 victory over the frustrated Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
Rookie Brook Lopez added 15 points and nine rebounds and Vince Carter had 12 points and eight assists in one of the most impressive performances of the season for Lawrence Frank’s young team.
New Jersey built a season-high 20-point lead at the half and extended it to 37 points after third quarters in handing the Nuggets their worst loss of the season, one that saw Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and coach George Karl all hit with second-quarter technicals for arguing with the officiating crew.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and was only the 17th of the season for Denver, which was off to its best 50-game start since joining the NBA in 1976.
Anthony had 15 points to lead the Nuggets on a night that the Nets refused to let them get to the rim, one of the staples of an offense that was averaging 104.7 points, fourth best in the league.
The 70 points were a season low and the final margin was a season worst.
Harris hit six free throws in an 11-2 spurt that gave New Jersey a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Carter hit a jumper, converted a three-point play and scored eight points in the 15-6 run that started the second quarter.
Denver’s frustration with the officiating came to the surface in the second quarter. Karl was called for a technical foul after Anthony seemed to get hit on a rebound follow and nothing was called.
Anthony and Billups both got technicals with 26.7 seconds left in the half, with Billups seemingly stunned that he was getting his right after his buddy.
New Jersey shot almost 69 percent in the third quarter in turning the game into a rout. Harris had 11 in the quarter and Lopez added nine.
Nets rookie Ryan Anderson finished with his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Nuggets took a train ride north after Friday night’s game in Washington. … New Jersey’s biggest previous halftime lead this season was 13. … The loss prevented Denver from getting 19 games over the .500 mark for the first time since 1987-88. … The loss also snapped the Nuggets’ three-game winning streak against New Jersey. … The Nuggets previous worst loss this season was 18 points. Denver’s previous season low for points was 81.