Tag Archives: Nuggets

Denver Nuggets Sweep Rockets at Home

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Back-to-back home games for the Denver Nuggets against the Houston Rockets lead to back-to-back double-digit wins. The latest is a 120-100 drubbing on Wednesday night.

We told you last game the Denver Nuggets dynamic duo was back, but Wednesday the rest of the Bat Family showed up. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic were back at it going for 33 pts./14 asts/13 rebs/1 stl/1 blk combined with Blue Arrow firing up a game-high 26 points. That may not seem like much until you realize they both only played a little over 5 minutes in the 4th combined. And you don’t need the gaudy numbers from game 1 against Houston when Bruce Brown and Aaron Gordon combine for 38 points and 6-11 from three.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Slovenian Sniper Vlatko Cancar did his best Dr. J impression from the Denver Nuggets free throw line:

Denver Nugget Vlatko Cancar takes flight from just inside Free Throw line.

Cancar did more than put up a highlight dunk as he put up 13 pts and 5 rebs on 5-6 shooting while going 3-4 from deep. Fellow bench player Ish Smith had a nice contribution of 6 pts/7 asts/2 rebs. That slash from Ish isn’t his biggest contribution, it’s his leadership and control of the floor as a vet. He showed it best after the game when he apologized to Coach Malone and the starters for not being good enough to keep them on the bench in the 4th of a 20-point win. He does a great job of being a defensive pest and keeping everyone involved and energized on offense.

I want to see a bench lineup with him and Bones, I don’t think you need to pick and choose who to have on the floor. Calvin Booth is showing exactly why Minnesota was able to poach Tim Connelly. Bruce Brown has already shown to be a free-agent steal, Ish is starting to show he was more than a throw-in for the KCP deal with the Wizards. I think Ish as the backup PG and Bones as the backup SG will make a deadly second unit once this squad is fully healthy.

The Rockets’ starters were not terrible as you can see below courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:

Kevin Porter Jr. and Alperen Sengen were most impressive, not just because Porter lead his team in scoring at 23 points, or because Sengun had a double-double. But because Porter Jr. went 5-7 from three and 8-18 overall in over 32 mins on the floor. Sengun was even more efficient with 8-12 shooting. They didn’t just pad their stats in a blowout by chucking up 25+ shots.

The Rockets look to be well coached as well as they did fight hard enough at the end to force Coach Malones hand on the Denver Nuggets bench and send his starters back on the court to insure an easy victory. This forced Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon to spend more than 30 minutes on the floor, something you don’t want in a 20-point win against a rebuilding bottom-feeder. The Rockets came into Ball Arena with the worst winning percentage in the NBA. They left with it even lower, just as it should be.

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That may seem harsh for those who root for the Rockets, but when a top team in any league faces the bottom, this is what should happen. Unfortunately, for those who root for the Denver Nuggets, that’s not how it always goes. So you can forgive those of us in Nuggets Nation that began the series with bated breath after the Rockets were coming off back-to-back 120+ point outings. The Nuggets though gave yet another reason to be optimistic about what they can do in the 2022-2023 season.

What’s Next?

@Atlanta Hawks on Friday, Dec. 2nd at 5:30 PM MST/7:30 PM EST

Preview Game 21 Rockets @ Denver Nuggets

Game two of the Denver Nuggets vs Houston Rockets will take place Wednesday at Ball arena. Denver took care of Houston with no issue in the first meeting on Monday with a 129-113 victory.

By Santiago Salazar
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A game that featured a nostalgic Jamal Murray performance. Scoring a season-high 31, the most points since returning from the ACL injury he sustained back in March of 2021. Despite Blue Arrow making an appearance, the best performance goes to two-time MVP Nikola Jokic who tallied 32. A dominating performance all around, nonetheless the reigning MVP gave praise to the Rockets’ young big man Alperen Sengun, who has idolized Jokic since before joining the league. Sengun, who led his young team with 18 pts, looks forward to the second half of this back-to-back matchup and showcasing what he learned while guarding the Serbian Sensation during Monday’s contest. If the Nuggets want the same result as Monday they will have to come up with a no-mercy approach against a team with the worst win percentage in the Western Conference. Here are three things to look out for ahead of Wednesday’s game

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Denver Nuggets Bounce Back vs Thunder

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After a disappointing loss to Detroit. Denver Nuggets dig deep against OKC and pull out an OT victory 131-126.

Many wondered if the Denver Nuggets would have enough energy to put up a fight in Oklahoma City after the hard-fought loss to Detroit at home Tuesday night. You could understand if the team’s stars didn’t have 100% to give on the back half of a back-to-back with a flight in between. Significant stars and role players were out as Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Bones Hyland, and Jeff Green all with a mix of non-Covid illnesses/injuries. Third-string point guard Ish Smith has been out with a right-calf strain for a while now. Which meant the Nuggets were playing will all three PGs inactive. Things got so thin 2-way player Jack White logged almost 10 mins. pitching in 2 blocks and a rebound.

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The Denver Nuggets came out of the gates hot building a 17-point lead after the first quarter horn sounded at 38-21. Then the defense decided to be optional as the Nuggets gave up 76 points while only scoring 46 of their own in the 2nd and 3rd. The Thunder had an 86.6% win probability and a 13-point lead at this point. Then the 4th began, Air Gordon was cleared for take-off, and the Denver defense came along for the ride giving up only 29 points to the Thunder in the 4th and overtime combined.

Aaron Gordon put it best after the game when he said “It was a point-guard by-committee approach.” People have spent a lot of time asking “who cares if you have a 5 that can pass?” when talking about Nikola Jokic. Well, now you see how it is so much more than a luxury. After a night where I and Coach Malone pointed out a lack of production from those around Joker, you got 30 points from Aaron Gordon, and Bruce Brown produced his first career triple-double. It wasn’t cheap either, Bruce put up a 17 pts/10 asts/13 reb slash line. More importantly, the Nuggets improve to 5-2 with Downtown Bruce Brown in the starting lineup.

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We haven’t even mentioned AG being 2 rebounds shy of a double-double, or the 19 points he scored in the 4th and OT to spark the Denver Nuggets to a comeback and the season-high 30 points we mentioned before. Oh, and the Slovenian Sniper Vlatko Čančar(chawn-char) had a career-high 20 off the bench. This was only a night after Čančar didn’t log a single minute against Detroit. We didn’t get the two-man game from Joker and Blue Arrow we love so much, but you got the next best thing with Niko and Vlatko. Despite constant double teams Jokic fell one assist shy of a triple-double, again, with a 39 pts/9 asts/10 reb slash. All of this led to a season-high 131 points for the Nuggets.

For a second consecutive night, the 3-pointer abandoned Denver for stretches. They finished 36.8% from three, but that was buoyed by a less than likely 4-5 from deep from Air Gordon. Without him, the Nuggets barely reach 30% from beyond the arch. They were better at the stripe shooting 80.5% but is still below where you would like it. You want it more in line with OKC’s 85.7%. The only truly worrying thing though is the fact that for the second consecutive night you allowed sub-.500 teams to have a 20+ point scorer off the bench. Tuesday it was Alec Burks (21), and Wednesday it was Isaiah Joe (20). Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his torrid 2022 pace with a 31 pts/11 asts double-double. The most impressive part of SGA’s 31 points is he only had 12 points at the half on 4-of-7 shooting. You expect SGA to get his, you can’t allow the same lapses from the Denver bench against good teams.

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Despite all the adversity, all the injuries/illnesses, poor officiating, and going from a 17-point lead to a 13-point deficit. The Denver Nuggets improved to 3-0 against the Thunder and setting. upa season swee on January 22, 2023. There never was any quit in this team, it’s something I talked about after the Detroit game that had nine lead changes. This Nuggets squad has depth and pride never before seen in Ball Arena. No matter who is on the floor, or who isn’t, this team expects to win.

This is the second road win this week they had no business pulling off. The defensive effort might not always be as consistent as you would like. It has shown up when it’s needed most more often than not. Games like these are why you go out and get Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. This trio has held opponents to less than 34% from the perimeter. You don’t like back-to-back nights of 60+ points in the paint to teams that are plainly not on the same talent level. But you will always take the notch in the win column.

What’s Next:

@L.A. Clippers Friday, Nov. 5th at 8:30 PM MST/10:30 EST

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