HOUSTON- The Denver Nuggets travelled to Houston on the second night of a back-to-back, just half of a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers. The Nuggets were unable find their rhythm as they took a heartbreaking loss in Houston.
The Nuggets were led by Danilo Gallinari for the third game in a row. Gallinari had 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in his 38 minutes. The second leading scorer for Denver was Gary Harris with 17 points, 3 boards, and 1 assist. Wilson came off of the bench for 16 points and 5 rebounds.
The Nuggets bench was less than productive, as they only had 34 points against Houston’s bench, which was also less than impressive with 36 combined points.
Tonight’s matchup could have gone either way but the Nuggets just couldn’t pull through to get the win. The Nuggets had far too many empty possessions and they couldn’t make a three to save their lives.
Denver shot 39.4% from the field and 83.3% from the charity stripe. A big issue for the Denver Nuggets tonight is that they were just 7/38 shooting from beyond the arc for just 18.4%. The Nuggets had 51 boards, 26 assists, 10 steals, and 5 blocks. The Nuggets had 62 points in the paint and 12 turnovers.
Houston shot 42.5% from the field and 68.4% from the charity stripe. Just like the Nuggets, the Rockets also struggled from downtown as they were 10/34 shooting at 29.4%. Houston had 56 boards, 19 assists, 7 steals, and 3 blocks. Houston got into the paint for 48 points they also had 16 turnovers.
Denver trailed the Rockets through the first quarter, 36-25, before the Nuggets came back in the second and just barely outscored Houston 25-23. Coming out of the half, the Nuggets were trailing the Rockets 59-50 and they were able to once again outscore Houston once more, 29-26. Going into the fourth, the Nuggets were down 85-79 and had a chance to get back into the game (and even take the lead, which they did briefly).
With just under a minute left, the Nuggets had an opportunity to take the lead as they were down 103-101 until James pulled up on a 3 pointer. The Nuggets found themselves down by 5 before Gallo fouled Harden and he made one of two. Denver was down by 6 when Nikola Jokic was fouled andGallinari took the free throw, bringing the Nuggets within 5 before Wilson Chandler fouled James Harden where he made one of two from the stripe. After a quick timeout, Gallinari made a dunk to bring the Nuggets within 4. A quick foul by Jameer Nelson sent Eric Gordon to the line where he made both and the Nuggets were down by 6. A last second attempt fell short as the Nuggets were trying to set Gallo up for a three but Jameer threw the ball to a ghost and the Nuggets fell 110-104 in Houston.
“We have to continue and fight and move forward.” -Coach Malone post game
38.4% Field Goal % 42.5%
18.4% 3 Point % 29.4%
83.3% Free Throw % 68.4%
The Nuggets will fly home tonight and have a day off before facing the Pelicans on Friday night in the Pepsi Center.