DENVER- Well, it’s been a long, tough road leading up to this point in the season but the Denver Nuggets are not giving up just yet. With four games remaining in the season (two of them being at home), can they find their way back into the final playoff spot in the West?
In our final meeting of the season, the Nuggets will kick off a two game home stand and host the New Orleans Pelicans. The last meeting we had with the Pelicans, just 3 days ago, went down to the wire but the Nuggets came out victorious. Now Denver is looking to finish the season series 3-1 as they fight until the end of the season.
Just three nights ago, every single Nugget that stepped foot on the court ended the game in double digits (aside from Kenneth Faried who exited the game with lower back tightness). The leading Denver Nugget was Danilo Gallinari with 28 points, 5 boards, and 3 assists through 42 minutes. Gary Harris contributed with 23 points, 8 boards, and 4 assists. Wilson Chandler led the bench with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
The Nuggets shot 53.5% from the field, 43.3% from beyond the arc, and 71.4% from the free throw line. Denver out rebounded New Orleans with 50 boards, 31 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, and 11 turnovers.
The Pelicans shot 51% from the field, 42.8% from downtown, and 88.2% from the free throw line. The Pelicans were able to secure 35 rebounds, 30 assists, 5 steals, and 9 blocks to accompany their 7 turnovers.
The entire game was back and fourth but the final thirty seconds of the game is what gave Denver their push to secure their W in the Smoothie King Center in NOLA. To sum things up, Denver missed 3 of their final 6 free throws, Boogie fouled out, and Denver got the 134-131 win as they eliminated the Pelicans from the playoff race.
The Nuggets are going into tonights meeting a game and a half behind the 8th seed Trail Blazers. In theory, if the Nuggets lose tonight and win tomorrow night against Utah, they will cinch the final seed in the West. DENVER NEEDS THIS WIN.
FG%: 46.8 FG%: 44.9
RPG: 46.3 RPG: 44
APG: 25.3 APG: 22.8
Last 10: 4-6 Last 10: 6-4
Keys to the Game:
- Attack the glass: In the las matchup, the Nuggets out rebounded the Pelicans 50-35.
- Win the battle of the big men: Mason Plumlee and Nikola Jokic need to contain Cousins and Davis. (Last game they combined for 71 points.)
- Leave it all out on the floor: Sitting 1.5 games behind Portland and what will be one of the final two home games of the season, the Nuggets need to bring the energy.
Jameer Nelson (calf) doubtful
Will Barton (foot) questionable
Darrell Arthur (knee) probable
DeMarcus Cousins (achilles) questionable