Nets continue trip against Nuggets

( - The Brooklyn Nets are nearing an end to their lengthy road trip and will visit the Denver Nuggets Thursday at the Pepsi Center.

The Nets have a 2-3 record on the seven-game odyssey and dropped an embarrassing 124-80 decision to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The Blazers had seven players score in double figures and shot 53.5 percent from the floor.

Brooklyn had just three players finish with 10-plus points, as Deron Williams led the trio with 12 points, Joe Johnson followed with 11 and Mason Plumlee chipped in 10 off the bench. The Nets made only 39.5 percent from the field and were outscored 42-21 in the fourth quarter.

"Our energy, on the offensive end we didn't make shots and we kind of felt sorry for ourselves, which carried over to the defensive end and we didn't get stops," said Nets coach Jason Kidd.

Portland is the highest scoring team in the league and led by as many as 45 points. It shot 46-of-86 from the field.

The Nets are 10-18 away from home, seventh in the Eastern Conference standings and will close the trip Saturday at Milwaukee.

Denver is gradually fading from the playoff scene and sits 7 1/2 games off a postseason berth. It has lost three straight and eight of nine games, including a 100-95 loss to the aforementioned Blazers on Tuesday.

J.J. Hickson scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high 25 rebounds -- 15 offensive -- and Randy Foye scored 17 points for the Nuggets, who trailed 82-69 heading into the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 86-84 with about four minutes left. The Nuggets, though, would get no closer.

"The effort was better," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "I liked the fact that they saw that when they compete it gets the crowd into the game. For the first time in a long time you could really feel the crowd behind them."

The Nuggets have given up 100 or more points in three straight games, and are 1-16 this season when scoring 95 points or fewer.

Denver is 0-2 on a three-game homestand and 14-14 in the Mile High City. It will visit the Blazers Saturday at the Moda Center.

Nuggets guard and leading scorer Ty Lawson (18.0 ppg) is still out with a fractured rib and hasn't played since Feb. 8 in a loss at Detroit. The team is 1-6 since the injury.

Brooklyn dropped a 111-87 decision to Denver at home on Dec. 3 and has lost 10 of the last 13 games in this series. The Nets are winless in six straight trips to the Pepsi Center, last winning there Jan. 27, 2007.