January 8, 2017- January 15, 2017
Although the Nuggets only played one game this past week, it was a very eventful and crucial trip for the young and upcoming team. As part of the NBA Global Games, the Nuggets found themselves traveling to London to take on the Indiana Pacers.
After a tough loss in Oklahoma City on Saturday to the Thunder, the Nuggets turned right back around and ventured nine hours to the UK. Upon arriving in London, the Nuggets instantly became tourists. They found themselves sightseeing the beautiful region. They even had the opportunity to meet Arsenal, an English professional football club based in Highbury, London.
While this was a chance to get away, it was still a business trip. The Nuggets did not fly to London to become globetrotters, they came to dismantle the Pacers and they did just that.
In front of a sold out crowd, the Nuggets played arguably their best game of the season. After leading by only one at the end of the first quarter, they took an 11 point lead into the half and never looked back. Out scoring the Pacers 39-20 in the third quarter, the Nuggets were on their way to accomplish what they set out to do. A 140-112 trouncing of the Nuggets had international fans, as well as the people in Denver, in a frenzy. The Pacers and Nuggets each had the same amount of time to prepare and the Nuggets even had to travel further. The Pacers never really got going, looking lackadaisical the entire game. After the game, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan addressed his teams performance, “We were just a step slow all night long.”
Nikola Jokic lead the way once again, nearly recording a triple double producing 22 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Wilson Chandler added 21 points, and Danilo Gallinari chipped in another 18 points (4/6 from downtown).
The Nuggets have had an underwhelming start to the season, but at 15-23 they find themselves just one game out of the eighth seed in the West. Could this trip to London be a turning point in a season which is not even half way over?
With only one game the entire week and in foreign territory, the Nuggets had no one but each other. After the game, Nuggets veteran point guard Jameer Nelson mentioned, “That was probably the most we’ve talked to each other all year”.
Look for the Nuggets to build off this impressive victory as they take on the Orlando Magic in an MLK day matinee.