Well Nuggets Nation, they did it again. The Nuggets were able to get another win over the Indiana Pacers, sweeping the season series.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets to their victory with another double-double consisting of 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jokic is the first Nugget since 1983 to post those numbers. Wilson Chandler ended the game with 24 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists.
Danilo Gallinari made his return to the starting lineup after missing the last four games due to a bone bruise and posted a double-double with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 35 minutes. Gallinari made the bulk of his points from the free-throw line, where he made 17/18. Danilo only made 2/12 FG’s.
“I shot the ball terrible. So I’ve got to get back to the gym and work on those legs a little bit.” -Danilo Gallinari on his returning performance
All but one of the Nuggets starters, Jameer Nelson, contributed double-figure points. Nelson had 6 points, shooting 2/6 from the field. The Nuggets starters were able to outscore the Pacers starters 91-81.
Denver led Indiana through the first quarter, 34-26, before continuing their power play and outscoring the Pacers, once again in the second, 30-27. At the half, the Nuggets had an 11 point lead on the Pacers with a score of 64-53. The Nuggets continued their strong play throughout the third, where they, once again, outscored the Pacers 30-22. In the fourth, the Pacers rallied hard, and it even looked as though they were going to take full control of the game, as they outscored the Nuggets 42-31. Ultimately, the Nuggets were able to keep their lead as they swept the Pacers, 125-117.
The Nuggets took control of the game early but this second half is where their defensive efforts began to show, well, except for that fourth quarter where they almost gave the game away. In the first half, the Pacers only had 4 turnovers but in the third quarter alone, the Nuggets were able to force 6 turnovers. Defense gave the Nuggets their strong start and the lack thereof is what gave the Pacers an almost opportunity to take the game away from Denver.
While it looked as though the Pacers may have taken this one away from Denver, which would have been a major letdown after a huge win over Cleveland on Wednesday, the Nuggets held on tight and didn’t look back.
The Nuggets are now a game and a half ahead of ninth place Portland and look to try and get another win over Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday evening.
FG%: 47.6% 50.5%
3PT%: 25.9% 54.2%
FT: 93% 72.7%
Rebounds: 46 39
Assists: 23 19
Steals: 8 9
Blocks: 4 8
Turnovers: 13 13
Points in Paint: 52 46
Fast Break Points: 9 16