Preseason: Denver Nuggets fall to Chicago Bulls at United Center; Rookie Jusuf Nurkic shines


Oct 13, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) is defended by Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets suffered yet another preseason loss Monday night, losing to the Chicago Bulls on the road at the United Center 110-90. With the loss, Denver falls to 1-3 in preseason play with four games remaining.

73. Final. 110. 24. 90

Denver came out of the gates hot in the first quarter, outscoring the Bulls 30-19 in full control. However, the Bulls went on a massive run in the second quarter, outscoring the Nuggets 39-28. Bulls guard Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting, going a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe.

Jusuf Nurkic stole the show for the Nuggets in the second quarter. The 16th overall selection in the 2014 draft was on fire to say the least, taking Bulls forward Taj Gibson to down. Denver kept dumping the ball in to Nurkic who made three consecutive shots over Gibson. Nurkic finished the game with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, collecting 3 rebounds and 1 assist in 14 minutes.

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Teammate Kenneth Faried quietly had a dominant game. The ‘Manimal’ was efficient from the field Monday night, going 7-of-11 from the field with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block. Faried also has shown strides at the charity stripe, making all five free-throw attempts in Denver’s loss.

Besides Nurkic and Faried, just two other Nuggets scored in double-figures. Arron Afflalo and Timofey Mozgov each recorded 10 points apiece in the losing effort. After a 17-point performance against Phoenix the other night, Danilo Gallinari showed signs of rust. Gallo scored just 6 points on 2-of-9 shooting, including 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Gallo sat out the second half perhaps due to a minutes restriction.

Doug McDermott, the 11th overall selection in the draft by the Denver Nuggets, took it to the team that drafted him. McDermott scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting, knocking down 3-of-4 from beyond-the-arc. Doug also recorded 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the winning effort.

Besides Butler and McDermott, three other Bulls scored in double-figures, led by Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson scoring 15 apiece. Nikola Mirotic recorded 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, collecting 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 1 block.

The Denver Nuggets (1-3) resume preseason action Thursday night on the road as they take on the Golden State Warriors. Tip-off between the Nuggets and Warriors is scheduled for 7:00 PM EST, 5:00 PM MST at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.