The Denver Nuggets eliminated a 20 point lead with a 27-2 run in the third quarter. But they ultimately fell to the Knicks in a 116-110 loss in New York.
The Denver Nuggets were looking to build off of back-to-back wins and encouraging performances against Atlanta and Brooklyn. But they failed to win a third straight road game as they fell to the Knicks 116-110 in the Garden on Monday night, despite a 27-2 run in the third quarter.
The Knicks headed into the half with a 20 point lead thanks to a solid showing from three point range and a stellar performance from Kristaps Porzingis. The Latvian wunderkind finished the game with a career high 38 points on 14-26 from the field. It looked like a revenge game for Porzingod, who was on the wrong end of a 40 point performance from Nikola Jokic in the Garden last season.
Despite the poor performance in the first, the Nuggets came out of halftime looking like a completely different team. They went on a 27-2 run thanks to some stellar defense from Gary Harris and Paul Millsap. Denver actually tied the game at one point after trailing by as much as 23 in the first half.
But the wheels fell off for Denver towards the end of the third and into the fourth. The Nuggets were outscored 32-29 in the final quarter and they finished six points shy of a remarkable comeback on the road.
For Denver, it’s another frustrating loss on the young season. They actually won the turnover battle and they finished the game with more three pointers and free throws made than New York. But the Knicks were more efficient in the latter area, and the Nuggs left 9 points at the charity stripe in a six point loss. Denver also lost the points in the paint battle. New York outscored Denver 36-28 down low—something that Denver has struggled with in their losses this season.
After some encouraging performances from Jamal Murray, Wilson Chandler and Emmanuel Mudiay in Brooklyn, Denver was hoping to build off their most complete performance of the season. But Chandler struggled mightily. He finished with 6 points in 27 minutes on just 1-3 from the field. Jamal Murray scored 20 points, but he finished just 2-9 from three. Mudiay finished 3-3 from deep and scored 15 points in 20 minutes, but he turned over twice again.
It’s also worth nothing that head coach Michael Malone got particularly experimental with his rotations in this game. Darrell Arthur saw 12 minutes of action, some of which came in the fourth quarter of a close game. Not to mention the first half rotation of Emmanuel Mudiay, Malik Beasley, Will Barton, Darrell Arthur and Mason Plumlee. Those experiments didn’t exactly pan out. Arthur finished the game with zero points, one turnover and a +/- of -6.
The Nuggets return to Denver for a home game against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. Stay tuned to Dig In Denver for your pre and post game coverage.