The game appeared close at the end, but the horrible second quarter display by the Denver Nuggets was what ultimately did them in. Free throw shooting did not help them either.
Trailing only by four at the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets were outscored by the Utah Jazz 32-22 and could not recover, despite a furious comeback, to ultimately fall to a team that they had no reason losing to. Sure, the game was in Utah, but the Nuggets had a legitimate chance to make some noise and get a win against an inferior opponent. However, what looked to be a close game was turned ugly as the Jazz led by as many as 24 points before the Nuggets pushed forward. But it was too little too late.
The one place that the team struggled at in the game was the free throw shooting. An easy point or two that is attempted with almost no pressure on the player in question, no worries about the shot being blocked. Granted, sometimes free throws are a lot harder than it looks, but with these players practicing these shots, there is no reason to miss as many as the Nuggets did. Had they converted on a few more of them, this game would have been a lot closer.
The bright spots of the game for the Nuggets team were players Ty Lawson and J.J. Hickson, who both scored 23 and 21 points, respectively. However, this is a team sport and both of these players cannot, by themselves, be able to carry the team. Hickson was nearly flawless on his part, only missing one basket the entire night. But they could not overcome the horrendous second quarter, as well as poor free throw shooting.
It’s sad to see a winning streak end at the hands of a divisional opponent, but perhaps the Nuggets can take this as a learning experience to be better prepared for the next game. They were able to move from start to finish, and that means not taking it lightly at any point that there is a chance to take that lead or make that extra basket. This is a talented team, but they can only go as far as they let themselves go.