The Denver Nuggets came out of the locker room unprepared Friday night against the Boston Celtics and they would pay. The Celtics would start the game on a 14-0 run, as guard Avery Bradley would score six of those fourteen early on. The Celtics held on late to defeat Denver, 106-98. After the first period, the Nuggets however would outscore the C’s the rest of the game 83-67.
After the first quarter, the Celtics were shooting lights out. They would shoot roughly 65% perfect in the first mustering 39 points, while the Nuggets only managed to score 15. The Celtics would slightly cool off as they finished the game shooting 51.8% percent, 6-for-20 from three. Jordan Crawford was a key contributer for the now 9-12 Boston Celtics, as he scored 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, 2-for-4 from deep. He would also account for eight assists and four rebounds. Denver on the other hand would shoot 23.8% percent in the first quarter, getting two buckets from their starting rotation.
The Nuggets as a team have been struggling in the post if you didn’t know after watching them play the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday. Andrew Bynum, Tristan Thompson, and Anderson Varajeo combined for 16 offensive rebounds, 41 total. They would also combine for 49 points. Tonight was no different as Kris Humphries, a career 6.5 points per game, 5.5 boards, would score 18 points with 7 rebounds and 1 block; a plus/minus rating of +26.
As if it couldn’t get any worse for this Denver Nuggets club, point guard Ty Lawson went to the locker room in the third quarter with a tight hamstring. The guard would spark the Denver comeback in the second leading in the third, as the team found its defensive intensity and aggressiveness. He finished with 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting, 6-for-6 from the line and would account for four of the teams eleven assists.
My key match-up to watch for was between forwards Jeff Green and Wilson Chandler, and Green outright won that. Green would score 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, while Chandler struggled going 2-of-7 from the field with 7 points and 8 rebounds. The Nuggets as a team shot much better from the free-throw line, shooting 24-for-29 (82.8%).
The Nuggets (11-8) have now lost two-straight, continuing their road-trip against the Philadelphia Sixers (7-13) on a back-to-back Saturday night. Nuggets guard Ty Lawson’s status is uncertain for the game at this point.