Despite being tired and sluggish, the Nuggets managed to pull out a hard fought 91-86 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Big effort despite tired legs.
Kosta Koufos gets the start, Nene is out with a bruised foot. Will be interesting to see how Kouf does in this game. Big front court. First couple of possessions Andrew Bogut abuses Timofey Mozgov with spin moves. Not a good start for him.
Nuggets starting out sluggish. Definitely fatigued. Danilo Gallinari is doing quite well and driving with authority. Nuggets will need him tonight. Mozgov has struggled, blowing two layups before finally making one. Need to struggle through.
Pepsi Center is half full and the crowd is a bit dead. Such is the case when Milwaukee is in town.
Al Harrington comes off the bench and nails a big three. George Karl has put the small lineup in, replacing Gallo with Andre Miller. Small ball again. Chris Andersen is the tallest Nuggets player on the floor.
Small ball lineup is looking a bit soft. Corey Brewer is now in. Nuggets getting out muscled. Brewer has provided a spark with nice dunks, but Nuggets defense still looks off.
Score 30-24 Bucks
Nuggets continue to look sluggish to start the second quarter. Arron Afflalo and Mozgov come in for Brewer and Andersen. Leads to a break. Nuggets start 2 for 10 to begin the quarter and are just out of sync without Nene.
RUDY FERNANDEZ HITS A THREE!! OH MY GOD!
Gallo is back in and the offense seems to be running a bit better. More flow. Back and forth we go. Nuggets still down 5, but the pace favors the Nuggets.
Brewer had provided a spark. Seems to be the only player who has any energy. Going to need his spark. As bad as the team has played they are still within reach. Brewer hits two free throws to bring the Nuggets within three.
Nice break - Nuggets within one. Gallo plays nice defense on Stephen Jackson and forces an air ball. Two free throws from Gallo and the Nuggets regain the lead for the first time since the first quarter. Gallo keeps drawing fouls a la-Melo. Gallo with a nice tip-in at the buzzer and the score at half is:
Score tied 48-48
Nuggets looked out of it. Sluggish. Just bad all over for most of the first half. Couldn't make too much effort on defense and were getting out physicaled by the Bucks. Then Gallinari and Brewer provided the spark the Nuggets needed to get it tied up going into half. Five games in six nights is a tough thing, but all things considered this is NOT a bad halftime result. If the Nuggets can find their mojo again and get their offensive flow back then things should start falling into place fairly quickly. Hopefully Mozgov can stay out of foul trouble so he can stay in there longer.
Nuggets start off crisp. Gallo nice pass to Mozgov and AAA gets a nifty drive and hoop. Nuggets up four.
Kouf is looking good. Great minutes so far for the Nuggets, he has a good low post game. Needs to improve his hands though but has played very well.
Koufos takes out two Bucks players at once and manages to injure Captain Jack in the process. Nuggets down by one at the first time out. Team is back to looking sluggish and out of it.
Birdman comes in for Kouf - big hand for him. Lawson's aggressiveness and Gallo's scoring need to carry the day for the Nuggets. Gallo hits two free throws again. Then makes a nice pass to Big Al, and then forces Brandon Jennings into a travel. Andre Miller takes out Beno Udrih with a forearm shiver. Tough game.
Nuggets missing layup's like they are allergic to the net. Looking sloppy and sluggish. Missing layup after layup ... the small lineup comes in and promptly wastes the Nuggets energy and flow.
Score 74-68 Bucks
Corey Brewer starts off the fourth with a lucky three-point shot. Birdman biffs a layup, but gets two free throws out of it. Then Rudy Fernandez commits a bad foul on a Carlos Delfino three-point attempt, but was bailed out by Delfino making only one of three free throws.
Brewer with a pretty block on the defensive end which led to a nice three point play by Harrington at the other end. Karl goes with the ultra small lineup - I hate hate hate hate hate this, but it seems to be working so far.
Gallo gets pounded on a drive and makes the layup ... should have been an And-1. Nuggets outside shooting is still horrid, but as long as they keep driving they will be just fine.
GALLLOOOOOOOOOO workin' hard on the offensive end with the tip in! Nuggets up by one! Break by Nuggets BIG AL WITH THE SLAM!!
Bucks have gone completely cold. Missed seven straight shots. Nuggets up by 5.
Delfino hits a lucky three to cut the Nuggets lead to two. Clearly a two ... kept as a three (even after the refs reviewed it). You have to be kidding.
One point lead for the Nuggets and both teams can't buy a shot.
ANDREW BOGUT chucks a hook shot ... tries to flop. Brain fart by the Bucks that results in a break and a Nuggets three point lead.
Jennings misses a three point shot. Gallo gets fouled and sinks both free throws.
Horrible, sloppy, badly paced game that was a torture to watch (and cover), but the Nuggets were resilient and came out on top. Gallo finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Very key in keeping the offensive flow going when he was in. He looks awkward but he gets the job done. Lawson kept the pace going as much as he could even though it was clear he was tired himself. He finished with 16 points and 6 assists.
Great production by Kosta Koufos in his time on the floor. His offensive game is much more refined than Mozgov's and it shows. Koufos went for 8 points and 6 rebounds. Again a great game from Al Harrington, who was also asked to guard Andrew Bogut for a majority of the fourth quarter. No small task. Harrington finished with 17 points 8 rebounds. Corey Brewer came off the bench and provided some much needed energy and scoring, he finished with 10 points. Was great to see him play and play well.
All in all, you have to wipe the sweat from your forehead and wipe off those clammy hands and just say THANK GOD the Nuggets pulled off this win. Good to see when it was clear the team just didn't have their legs.
AAA and Rudy are still struggling. Afflalo doesn't seem to be in a good place mentally. One hopes that both those players round into shape soon.
Good Win. Finally a day off in-between.
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