Do I believe my eyes? A Nuggets game that doesn't come down to the last few possessions?
Tonight, we finally saw the Ty Lawson that this Nuggets team needs to be successful in the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs. Ty was aggressive and continually took it to the basket (7-13, 18 pts, 9 ast, 2 stl, 4 TO). Andre Iguodala (11-19, 29 pts, 6 rebs, 2 ast, 2 blks, 0 TO) had perhaps his best game as a Denver Nugget and absolutely dominated the Golden State Warriors all night.
Despite Kenneth Faried again failing to achieve a double double (4-8, 9 pts, 11 rebs, 2 stl, 1 blk, 1 TO), he and JaVale McGee had a solid outing against the hustling David Lee (9-19, 21 pts, 10 rebs, 3 ast, 3 stl) and doughty Carl Landry (6-11, 19 pts, 8 rebs, 4 ast, 1 stl, 2 TO). The Nuggets again held a team below 50 points in the second half (despite trailing at the break) and look to be getting on a roll with 3 straight victories.
Nuggets win, 102-91.
|Final - 11.23.2012||1||2||3||4||Total|
|Golden State Warriors||21||32||17||21||91|
I have to say that was one of the more fun games I've watched the Nuggets play this season, despite some pretty terrible officiating by Gary Zielinski early. He let lots of contact on Kenneth Faried go uncalled, and actually managed to call Corey Brewer for a foul when Jarrett Jack tripped over David Lee's foot. Even so, everything seemed to be much more free flowing in the offense (19 fast break points) while maintaining a solid defensive effort (38 second half points for the Warriors), especially in the third quarter.
Andre Miller (2-3, 6 pts, 4 ast, 2 TO) was quiet, despite him heaving passes downcourt to a streaking Kenneth Faried and Corey Brewer multiple times. His heady if sometimes wild play is an invaluable asset for a Nuggets squad that sometimes struggles with their offense in the half court, and his football-like throws seem to be rubbing off on the rest of the team. At one point, Faried passed the ball off a steal to Miller at midcourt, who then lobbed it to Brewer on the wing, who then touch-pass-ooped the ball for an and-1 dunk by McGee. I don't think the ball touched the floor the entire possession.
The Nuggets had active hands in the passing lanes, with Corey Brewer (4-10, 9 pts, 4 stl, 2 ast) jumping all over the frequently errant passes by the Warriors. By the way, the Nuggets forced the Warriors into 14 turnovers, 4 by Stephen Curry (2-5, 6 pts, 3 ast, 4 TO) who was virtually invisible while being hounded by Andre Iguodala and Ty Lawson most of the night.
Andre Iguodala needs special mention tonight. He was incredibly active on both ends of the floor, made some very tough shots and converted an off-the-ass inbounds dunk on David Lee. Iguodala has for weeks looked like he's struggled with where he fits in on this offense, but it looks like it's finally coming together for him. The Nuggets have now been able to give Iguodala the room to work with a more active Ty Lawson, and it's giving Iguodala opportunities to exercise his offensive creativity.
Speaking of special, Ty Lawson was back to his blurry self and it was a sight for sore eyes. He attacked the slower Golden State backcourt continuously, and despite ongoing woes from the free throw line, finally looks to have that extra step back. His shot selection was excellent and he managed to play some solid defense on Stephen Curry and a pesky Jarrett Jack.
Danilo Gallinari (8-20, 20 pts, 7 rebs, 2 ast) had a quietly effective night, drawing multiple fouls on the Warriors' frontcourt and opening up lanes for Ty Lawson. Even though his 3 ball was not falling (0-5 3pt), he managed to have an impact on the game by forcing the opposing bigs to respect the drive and worry about foul trouble. I have to credit his early aggressiveness for allowing Ty to shift into a higher gear later in the game.
Up next are Ryan Anderson, Greivis Vasquez and (if he's not still overly concussed) Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets. The Nuggets are over .500 for just the second time this season and should be able to extend their win streak to four before getting back out on the road.