Denver Nuggets Defeat Houston Rockets 114-108


The Denver Nuggets remained unbeaten against the Houston Rockets on the season, winning their third game against them this season.

The Denver Nuggets came off of an overtime victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves to improve their record to 9-14, currently sitting in 11th place in the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets traveled to Denver with a 12-12 record, good enough for seventh place in the West. However, the Denver Nuggets entered the game with a 2-0 record against the Rockets in the 2015-2016 season, and they looked to improve to 3-0 after it was all said and done.

Next: Emmanuel Mudiay at Risk to Miss Extensive Time

The Denver Nuggets were short-handed in their matchup against the Houston Rockets, with Emmanuel Mudiay suffering an ankle sprain last week during practice. The Denver Nuggets leaned on Jameer Nelson to shoulder the load for the upcoming game, giving him the start at point guard. However, Mudiay’s injury added to the already-depleted rotation of the Denver Nuggets. The Denver Nuggets were without Wilson Chandler, Jusuf Nurkic, and Emmanuel Mudiay on Monday night against the Rockets.

Despite the short-handed roster, the Denver Nuggets look unfazed against the Houston Rockets. The Rockets entered the season with high hopes after adding Ty Lawson via trade from the Denver Nuggets; however, they are off to a disappointing start, which saw the team fire head coach Kevin McHale. The Rockets used McHale as a scapegoat, because the team definitely has underlying issues surrounding the big-name personas on the roster. 

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With a roster consisting of James Harden, Dwight Howard, Ty Lawson, and Marcus Thornton, they should dominate in the Western Conference; however, that proves to not be the case. More of the same happened on Monday (12/14) against the Denver Nuggets. The Denver Nuggets defeated the Rockets by a score of 114-108, behind a strong performance from Will Barton. Barton filled the stat sheet tonight, scoring 23 points to go along with nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

In addition to Will Barton’s strong night for the Denver Nuggets, Joffrey Lauvergne contributed a double-double, with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Also, Gary Harris chipped in 21 points (8-11 FG) with a superb shooting performance. Nikola Jokic led the Denver Nuggets’ rotation with a +/- of +24, the best by far of any player on the roster. The Denver Nuggets utilized a massive third quarter to take the lead, and they never looked back, ultimately defeated in the Rockets by six points. 

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James Harden led the Rockets with 24 points, six assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Dwight Howard added 13 points and eight rebounds. However, the Houston Rockets faltered with their poor performances off their bench. Every bench player posted a +/- of -9 or lower (outside of Jason Terry). Patrick Beverly chipped in 14 points and eight assists on the night, and Ty Lawson, the now-backup point guard, added two points and a gaudy -22 +/-.

With the win, the Denver Nuggets improve their record to 10-14, 3-0 against the Houston Rockets. Moreover, the Denver Nuggets are within shouting distance of a playoff spot, but they must play better all-around basketball in order to be taken seriously on that front. Following their win against the Rockets, the Denver Nuggets travel to face the Timberwolves, a team they just defeated in overtime. Following the road game against the Timberwolves, the Denver Nuggets have one additional road game before coming home.

Look for the Denver Nuggets to keep their momentum going as they face the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz in the upcoming days this week. If the Denver Nuggets can win both games, they improve their chances on entering the playoff picture. The 2015-2016 NBA season is just over one-third percent completed, so there is still plenty of basketball left for the Denver Nuggets to entrench their spot in the playoff picture. So, there is hope Denver Nuggets fans.

Next: Emmanuel Mudiay at Risk to Miss Extensive Time

Despite Emmanuel Mudiay missing tonight’s game (12/14), the Denver Nuggets have not ruled him out for any future games, so perhaps, his injury is not as significant as expected. Also, the Denver Nuggets hope to have Jusuf Nurkic cleared for full-contact practices in the upcoming days, and his presence would improve the Nuggets’ big man rotation moving forward. With a three-headed monster of Nurkic, Jokic, and Lauvergne, the Denver Nuggets’ look like an imposing team in the front-court.