If only the Denver Nuggets could play each and every single one of their games at home. The Nuggets won another one at the Pepsi Center last night, beating a rather warm Boston Celtics team that is 8-2 in their last 10 games.
The Nuggets won the game despite shooting only 42.9 percent from the field, compared to the Celtics 44.3 percent. Denver struggled from the free-throw line shooting only 66.7 percent. However, the Nuggets turned the ball over fewer times, rebounded the ball more and had more fast break points.
Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala returned from injuries and contributed in their own ways. Gallinari played almost 40 minutes, had 26 points with four three-pointers and had a plus/minus of +20. Iguodala, however, struggled returning from a neck injury. He shot 0-7 and only 1-4 from the line, air-balling one attempt. He did have seven assists and contributed on the defensive end of the floor, and with the Nuggets having two days off, it’s hopeful he’ll be back to form soon.
Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried also showed their importance, helping the team snap a three game losing slide. Lawson had 26 points and over the last four games is averaging 27.5 points per game on 62 percent shooting, and is averaging 8.2 assists. Faried had 16 rebounds and seven points and the Nuggets avenged their loss to Boston 10 days ago.
The game was close with nine lead changes and nine ties, and Boston led after the first half by a point. It seemed the altitude was too much for the Celtics in the second half though, and they missed six of their last seven shots.
George Karl won his 400th game for Denver (second behind only Doug Moe with 432) and hopes to make it 401 at the Washington Wizards Friday night. This will be a tough task considering the Nuggets are only 11-18 on the road this season and seem to struggle with subpar teams. They’ll face another subpar team on the road a night after the Wizards when they travel to face the Charlotte Bobcats. These back-to-back road games will show how far the Nuggets have come along and are a great test to see if they can put away teams on the road.