The Nuggets dropped their fourth straight road game at the hands of DeMarcus Cousins and the Pelicans by a score of 123-114.
In a hard fought battle for most of the night, the Nuggets couldn’t hold on late and were once again let down by their defense. DeMarcus Cousins had his way with the Nuggets in the post and scored 40 points and brought down 22 rebounds. Cousins shot 15-25 from the field and was 14-21 from the three throw line. Jrue Holiday also had a good night for the Pelicans scoring 27 points and dishing out seven assists. E’Twaun Moore also had a good night for the Pelicans scoring 14 points on 5-10 from the field, 4-7 from behind the three-point line. The Pelicans now move to 13-12 on the season and are eighth in the Western Conference.
The Nuggets are starting to see the effects of not having Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap on the floor. The defensive issues have been the biggest revelation with those two off the court as the Nuggets have given up over 100 points in each of the last five games. Mason Plumlee and Kenneth Faried really couldn’t do much to stop Cousins in the post on Wednesday night, and one of the biggest reasons why is because both were in foul trouble most of the night.
Here’s the box score on the night for the Nuggets courtesy of ESPN.com.
Gary Harris, Will Barton, Jamal Murray, and Emmanuel Mudiay contributed to most of the scoring and did a good job of keeping pace with the Pelicans offense. Some big things that stand out are the +/- numbers for Barton and Mudiay. The Nuggets defense was certainly an issue for most of the night, and it’s just interesting to now who was on the court for a majority of the Pelicans baskets. The minutes for Juancho Hernangomez were also a bit surprising considering he’s been a fixture in the Nuggets ration as of late. Hernangomez didn’t see the court till the last four minutes of the game when the score was already out of reach.
The Nuggets are now 13-11 on the season and are 0-2 on their current six game road trip, a trip that continues Friday night against the Orlando Magic. The Magic are currently 11-15 and will pose another tough task for the Nuggets on the road.