By Raj Sharan
With the Nuggets season coming to a conclusion, the injury-riddled group continues to fight, but come up short. Trailing by over 20 points in Los Angles, Denver fought back to cut the Clippers lead to just 5 before finally flaming out 117-105. Brian Shaw’s group was again without Ty Lawson as well as Darrell Arthur.
The eight available players for Denver got off to an awful start, trailing 13-0 before TNT could even begin the broadcast of their doubleheader’s second game. Chris Paul and J.J. Redick were impressive, especially from three-point range, during the first half. Paul finished with 21 and 10 assists while Redick added 18. Blake Griffin was impressive as well, scoring 24 points, while DeAndre Jordan was impactive defensively blocking 2 shots and grabbing 16 boards.
The Nuggets’ comeback was spearheaded by Timofey Mozgov’s double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Kenneth Faried added 21 while Aaron Brooks scored 19. Randy Foye’s hot streak ended as he failed to connect on a three-point shot and remains six makes behind Dale Ellis for the franchise’s all-time mark.
Denver will conclude their disappointing and injury-ravaged season Wednesday night at Pepsi Center against the Warriors. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
The Nuggets and Jazz put on one ugly opening half of basketball Saturday night at Pepsi Center. The second-half was much the opposite with Denver eventually completing their comeback and winning 101-94. The victory was the team’s first this season when trailing heading into the fourth quarter.
Kenneth Faried got things going for the Nuggets in the third quarter, helping get the crowd back into the game after the dull first half. His energy was contagious as Randy Foye and Evan Fournier joined in the fun, helping to overcome a double-digit deficit. Faried’s monster night concluded with 24 points and 21 rebounds, the first 20/20 game of his career.
Foye scored 26 including 3 makes from beyond the arc as he closes in on the franchise’s single-season record, just 6 back of Dale Ellis. Fournier added 23 while Timofey Mozgov had another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Wilson Chandler made his return to the lineup after missing the past 10 games due to a groin strain, he scored 9 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Ty Lawson again sat out due to his sprained ankle and Darrell Arthur left early with a strain in his left knee. Danilo Gallinari actually suited up for the first time this season, although Brian Shaw made it clear before the game he was not available to play.
The Nuggets have now won three consecutive games, they travel to Los Angeles for a game with the Clippers Tuesday night. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
With the Hawks’ victory on Saturday, the Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention. As the final piece of the Carmelo Anthony trade, Denver receives New York’s first round pick this year. The Knicks will now be in the lottery, as will the Nuggets, but Denver will only have one pick. That’s because the less favorable of the two picks goes to the Magic, completing the Andre Iguodala trade.
Based on the Knicks’ record, the Nuggets’ pick will likely fall 11th or 12th. They do, however, now have greater odds of winning the lottery and landing in the top three. Those chances are still small, about five percent combining both Denver and New York’s “ping-pong balls.” The NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled to take place May 20th. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
On the second night of consecutive games, the Nuggets beat the Warriors 100-99 at Oracle Arena Thursday night. In a game of huge runs, Denver came back from a 20 point deficit in the first half. Steph Curry nailed a floater with 4.7 seconds remaining in the game to give Golden State the lead before Kenneth Faried nailed the game-winner with just .5 seconds on the clock.
Timofey Mozgov had the best game of his career, showing a wide array of offensive moves while controlling the glass. He finished the game with a staggering line of 23 points, 29 rebounds and 3 blocks. The rebounding total set an NBA high for the season. Faried joined him in the double-double category scoring 18 while grabbing 17 boards.
Despite a spectacular crossover move on Quincy Miller, former Nugget Andre Iguodala was mostly quiet registering just 6 points. Curry led the Warriors with 24 points while Klay Thompson added 21.
Again playing without Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler, Brian Shaw used just eight players in the game. Denver was dominant on the offensive glass, grabbing 25 boards on their way to a 63-38 overall advantage. The Nuggets will be back at it Saturday at home when they host the Jazz. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
Sunday in Houston, the Nuggets blew a double-digit lead late in the game before falling to the Rockets in overtime. Wednesday night at Pepsi Center, history nearly repeated itself. Denver almost blew a 22 point lead to Houston before managing to hold on 123-116. The victory secured a winning record at home for the 11th consecutive season.
The up-and-down tempo of the game benefited Kenneth Faried who outran Terrence Jones seemingly all night long on his way to 23 points and 9 rebounds. Houston’s equalizer was outside shooting, making 15 treys as they cut away at the Denver lead. The Nuggets took advantage of the trifecta as well, specifically Randy Foye.
Foye was fantastic shooting the ball, especially in the third quarter when he scored 22. Foye made 6 three-pointers on his way to 30 points while adding 15 assists in what was one of the best games go his career. Timofey Mozgov also played well, taking advantage of a Houston lineup that was without Dwight Howard. Mozgov finished with 22 points.
The Nuggets were again without Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler, both of whom Shaw expressed hope could return before the close of the season. Denver now travels to Golden State for a game with the Warriors Thursday night. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
This one will be tough to figure out, and tougher to swallow for the Nuggets. Denver led the Rockets in Houston by 13 points with less than four minutes in the game before a combination of turnovers, fouls, missed free throws and bad offensive possessions cost them the lead. In overtime, the Rockets nailed a trio of three-point shots to finish off the Nuggets 130-125.
Late in the fourth quarter, Darrell Arthur grabbed an offensive rebound that led to Randy Foye splitting a pair of free throws, that left Denver up by three. On the ensuing possession, James Harden sunk a tying three-point shot with 7.1 seconds to go. Foye’s game-winning attempt was just short and the game headed into extra time where the Nuggets finally lost.
Aaron Brooks, acquired by the Nuggets from the Rockets at the trade deadline, played well against his former team until late in the contest. Filling in for Ty Lawson, Brooks scored 24 points, dished 15 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds- but committed 7 costly turnovers.
Earlier in the contest, Denver trailed by as many as 17 after giving up a staggering 47 points in the second quarter. Playing without Lawson and Wilson Chandler, Brian Shaw’s crew went on a surprising run to open the second half and take control of the game. At the heart of the comeback was outside shooting, led by Brooks, Foye, Quincy Miller and Evan Fournier.
Miller had what may be the best game of his NBA career, scoring 19 while getting the start in place of Chandler. Fournier was exceptional in the second half, on his way to a 26 point performance. Kenneth Faried added another double-double scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Omar Asik started in place of Dwight Howard for the Rockets, and grabbed 23 boards while Harden led all scorers with 32.
These same two teams will go at it Wednesday night at Pepsi Center. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
In what is unfortunately a symbolic way for this Nuggets season to wind down, Ty Lawson was rolling on the Memphis floor riving in pain Friday night. Denver lost to the Grizzlies 100-92 but the story of the game was Lawson, who may have played in his final contest of the year.
The day began with news Lawson would not start after being late to a team meeting in the morning. Aaron Brooks got the nod at point guard while Lawson came off the bench to score 15 points in the first half. In the second half, Lawson intercepted a Memphis pass and while breaking away, inadvertently stepped on Mike Conley’s foot. The result was a severely sprained left ankle.
While x-rays were negative, he was in extremely visible pain and very well may sit out the final six games remaining in the season. The injury is the latest for Lawson whose dealt with a broken rib, strained groin and cornea abrasion among other bumps and bruises throughout the season. In a year where six players missed major time, the latest setback is just another addition to what will be remembered as the theme of the 2013-2014 Nuggets: injuries.
As for the game itself, Denver used a strong second quarter to take a lead into halftime. In the third quarter, they lost their composure following a serious of questionable calls from the officiating crew. That turning point gave Memphis the momentum and eventually the win, led by 24 points and 15 rebounds from Zach Randolph.
Kenneth Faried recorded another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Randy Foye led the team by scoring 21. The Nuggets will be back in action Sunday in Houston, likely without Lawson and Wilson Chandler who continues to sit out due to a groin strain. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
The Nuggets dropped the Pelicans 137-107 Wednesday night at Pepsi Center behind an impressive performance from Kenneth Faried who scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Anthony Davis left the game in the first half with back spasms and Faried took advantage of his absence in the second half.
Denver jumped out early and never relented behind strong performances from Aaron Brooks and Timofey Mozgov. Brooks scored 24 points coming off the bench while Mozgov recorded 15 in the contest. Meanwhile, Ty Lawson broke his recent cold streak with a double-double of 14 points and 12 assists.
Tyreke Evans led New Orleans with 27 points. Wilson Chandler sat out again for Denver with his groin strain, Quincy Miller got the start at small forward. The Nuggets travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies on Friday. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
The Grizzlies and Nuggets traded blows in a physical battle Monday night at Pepsi Center but it was too much Zach Randolph for Denver as Memphis escaped with a 94-92 win. For as well as Randolph played down the stretch, his missed pair of free throws late allowed Denver to hang around.
In a bizarre final series of events, Timofey Mozgov’s three-point tying attempt missed with a few seconds remaining. After an offensive rebound, he put home a dunk to cut the lead to one. With less than a second remaining, Courtney Lee appeared to miss the rim on his second free-throw attempt but the officials chose not to review the play, and the game was over.
The first half was a game of two major runs with Memphis running up a large lead until mid-way through the second quarter when Denver took control. That resulted in a two-point Memphis lead at halftime. The Grizzlies got off to a quick start in the second half, going on a run to begin the third quarter before Denver again answered. This all led to another seesaw quarter in the fourth before Memphis took control late behind Randolph. He finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Lee scored 19, including three makes from three-point range.
Mozgov appeared determined to make a strong impression facing his former teammate Kosta Koufos. The Nuggets center turned in one of his best performances of the season scoring 23 and gathering 10 rebounds while holding Koufos to just 6 and Grizzlies’ All-Star center Marc Gasol to 13. A key point of concern for the Nuggets is Ty Lawson who continued to struggle, scoring just eight points to go with his six assists.
Wilson Chandler again didn’t play due to a groin injury, Quincy Miller got the start at small forward and scored just 3 points in 18 minutes. The Nuggets will be back at home Wednesday when they welcome the Hornets to Pepsi Center. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan
By Raj Sharan
The rolling Spurs beat the Nuggets for the second consecutive game, this time 133-102 at Pepsi Center on Friday evening. For San Antonio, it was their 16th straight victory as they storm towards the playoffs. For Brian Shaw’s lottery-bound team, it was a curious day to know who would exactly be available.
Already down four players for the season, Denver figured to be without Wilson Chandler again as he deals with a groin strain. Timofey Mozgov was listed as out on the initial injury report due to illness while Jan Vesley was doubtful because of his rib contusion. Then, later in the day, Kenneth Faried’s status became uncertain, also due to illness. By the time the game tipped off, Chandler was the only one who didn’t play.
Despite the surprising participation of those players, the Nuggets were unable to slow down the Spurs’ offense behind Marco Belinelli’s 27 points. He was filling in for the injured Danny Green as the team’s starting shooting guard. For Denver, Faried gathered a double-double with 18 points and 13 assists while Randy Foye scored 20 and Evan Fournier added 15 in defeat.
The Nuggets will be back at home Monday night when they host the Grizzlies. Follow Raj Sharan on Twitter @Raj_Sharan