In the second game of a home-and-home, the Nuggets will visit Houston to take on the Rockets for the second time since Saturday night.
Denver was led by Gary Harris with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Nikola Jokic followed closely behind with 16 points, 5 boards, and 4 assists. In Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari‘s absence (both of whom are questionable for tonight), Juancho Hernangomez and Mason Plumlee got the start and combined for 24 points, 14 boards, and 4 assists. Plumlee even threw in 3 blocks.
Saturday night, the Nuggets were once again missing Chandler,Gallinari, and Darrell Arthur.
The Rockets were led by none other than James Harden, who gained yet another triple-double this season with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The Nuggets were able to hold the Rockets to just 5/24 shots from three point land but just weren’t able to cut it as they took the 109-105 loss.
A huge issue for the Nuggets is that they just weren’t making their free throws, only making 19/30 from the charity stripe. Along with missing their own free throws, Denver continuously fouled the Rockets from beyond the arc. Another struggle that Denver had is that Jokic had a slow start and got into early foul trouble (though the calls were very questionable).
Tonight, the Nuggets, 15-17 on the road, will hopefully get a win in Houston (18-16 at home) and cushion their small lead over the Trail Blazers for the eighth. Portland is just one game behind the eighth.
Nuggets Stats: Rockets Stats:
PPG: 111.1 PPG: 115.3
FG%: 46.7 FG%: 46.3
RPG: 46.3 RPG: 44.3
APG: 25.1 APG: 25.3
Last 10: 7-3 Last 10: 6-4
Keys to the game, Courtesy of Sean English:
- Free throws: The Nuggets missed 10 free throws in the second half alone on Saturday night. Focus on the little things.
- Discipline: The Nuggets surrendered 12 free throws off of fouling 3 point shooters. They must be smarter.
- Defense: The Nuggets limited the Rockets from behind the arc. If they want to steal a game in Houston, they must stop the 3 ball.
Danilo Gallinari (knee) questionable
Wilson Chandler (groin) questionable
Darrell Arthur (knee) out