Will Barton played hero in the Nuggets 111-110 comeback victory over the Chicago Bulls Thursday night at Pepsi Center.
Tonight, the Denver Nuggets took on the NBA’s worst team in the Chicago Bulls, and almost lost. The Nuggets had a disastrous first half allowing the Bulls to score 39 points in the first quarter. Since then, the Nuggets had to play catch up and trailed by as many as 18 points in the game. As the second quarter was drawing to a close, Nikola Jokic drove into the paint and rolled his ankle resulting in a sprain. Luckily he was fouled and made both of his free throws before leaving the game with no return.
At the start of the third quarter the Nuggets came out with some energy. With Jokic gone, the Nuggets did not have any of their starting front court left in the game with Wilson Chandler and Paul Millsap out. Kenneth Faried was tenacious as always and made the most of his minutes tonight racking up a double-double scoring 14 points and coraling 13 rebounds. The Nugget of the night though goes to Will Barton for an outstanding performance. Barton scored a career high of 37 points going 6/9 from the three and going 5/6 on free-throws in the final minute of action. Too cap off his career high night, Barton finished off the evening with the game winning layup.
GAME WINNER. pic.twitter.com/oEVt5X6JKf
— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) December 1, 2017
Gary Harris also had a great night scoring 21 points and was very effective on the defensive end of the court. Harris recorded two blocks, three steals, and applied a lot of pressure to the Bulls offense. Veteran forward Richard Jefferson logged a season high 12 minutes and provided a valuable veteran presence even with contributing just two points and two assists. His defense was helpful and he really brought a positive, vocal presence when he was in the game. Jefferson even leapt from the bench in order to persuade Jokic to stay in the game to take his final free throws. For that, Jefferson wins the Mike Miller award for tonight.
Though the first half was miserable to watch, the rest of the game was a close, nail-biting experience, that resulted in a one-point victory for the Nuggets. Below are some stats from tonight’s matchup.
45.8% FG% 53.7%
38.7% 3P% 37.5%
74.2% FT% 61.9%
44 RBS 40
22 AST 25
19 PF 27
Denver’s next matchup is against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 2nd at the Pepsi Center. Fat Lever’s jersey will also be retired that night.