The Denver Nuggets played a complete basketball game Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans who were without star forward/center Anthony Davis. The Nuggets bounced back after a tough home-loss to the Utah Jazz, defeating the Pelicans 102-93.
Prior to Sunday nights game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the Nuggets have been outscored 212-162 after the first quarter in their last seven-straight games. New Orleans got off to a hot start as point guard Jrue Holiday led a 8-0 Pelicans run after knocking down two jump-shots. Denver would bounce back as Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler hit jumpers on back-to-back possessions, cutting New Orleans lead to four. Randy Foye would bounce back from a 0-point performance against Utah, connecting with Kenneth Faried on an alley-oop and finishing with a lay-up putting Denver ahead, 13-10.
New Orleans was 6-for-6 from the field to start the game but finally missed as Ryan Anderson took a ill-advised shot. Nuggets guard Randy Foye looked to be shaken up as his twisted his ankle on a screen from Pelicans center Jason Smith, but remained in the game. The Nuggets continued to push the ball as J.J. Hickson would knock down the jumper, followed by two free-throws from Timofey Mozgov, led Denver to a 14-3 run as they took the lead 22-16.
Austin Rivers would put a quick end to the run as the guard knocked down the three and finished with a lay-up on the very next possession. Brian Roberts, who torched the Nuggets last season with 13 points and 18 assists, hit a jumper to push a 7-0 Pelicans run as they took the lead 23-22. The first quarter would end on a 11-2 run by New Orleans as they led the Nuggets, 27-24.
Nate Robinson and Andre Miller would start off the second quarter with three-pointers putting the Nuggets ahead by two. J.J. Hickson would make a big block on Eric Gordon leading to another three-pointer from Nate Robinson in the corner. Eric Gordon got his revenge as he cut to the hole with an and-one lay-up, making the free-throw putting the Pelicans ahead, 45-41. Gordon would knock down another three after a Faried lay-up, extending the lead to five. Denver would finish off the half strong, as Randy Foye would knock down the three to tie the game at 52 going into the half.
Kenneth Faried would block a Jason Smith attempt at the hoop, leading to a Wilson Chandler three giving the Nuggets some momentum. Ryan Anderson had the hot-hand for New Orleans as he averaged 21.4 points per game heading into tonight’s contest. The forward would make a hook-shot reducing the Denver lead to three, 63-60. Ty Lawson sparked an 8-0 run late in the third as he scored five of the eight points, putting Jrue Holiday in foul trouble with four. Austin Rivers came off the bench with a spark for New Orleans, scoring on an easy lay-up as the Nuggets took the lead after the third, 75-68.
The veteran Andre Miller showed he still had it as he knocked down two-straight jumpers, including a fade-away to put the Nuggets ahead 79-68. Wilson Chandler was steady all night for the Nuggets as he knocked down a tough jumper, followed by two free-throws. Nate Robinson would spark the Nuggets crowd as he blocked Eric Gordon at the hoop and finished with the lay-up in transition. Jordan Hamilton who has been a key-scorer off the bench for the Nuggets struggled tonight, shooting 1-for-8 from the field as he got his first bucket off the game off of a tip-slam late in the fourth to put Denver ahead by twelve.
Austin Rivers kept the game interesting as the former Duke Blue Devil would score on an and-one, making the free-throw as Denver led 96-85. The Nuggets were too much down the stretch for the Pelicans, as J.J. Hickson would essentially put the game away on a dunk as Denver prevailed over New Orleans, 102-93.
It was a good overall game by the Denver Nuggets, who had five-players score in double-figures. Ty Lawson bounced back after going missing against the Utah Jazz, scoring 12 points while adding 8 assists. Wilson Chandler showed he can score the rock consistently as he shot 7-of-14 from the field adding 19 points and 5 rebounds. J.J. Hickson had a monster game as well, scoring 19 points and adding 11 rebounds for the double-double.
The Denver Nuggets (14-9) are back at it again Tuesday night as they host division rival Oklahoma City Thunder (19-4). Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT.