Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
From the last five minutes of the second quarter on, this game wasn't close. That felt pretty good. Nuggets are victorious over the New Orleans Hornets with the final score of 102-84.
So this was an easy one. Remember those? All the heavy lifting was done in the first two quarters and a half. Lead by Andre Iguodala with 23 points and some great defense on Greivis Vasquez, and a nice "reawakening" game by Ty Lawson (17 points and 6 assists) the Nuggets took a commanding lead starting the third quarter and never looked back. Allowing the Nuggets bench to get in some garbage time, as the Nuggets lead by 22 entering the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets overcame some sloppy early shooting woes to take 12 point leads in both the first and second quarters, only to have them whittled down when the bench came in. Yet, you never got the feeling the Nuggets were going to lose this game, and with a nice burst to end the first half, and an equally nice burst to begin the third quarter, things were well in hand for this Nuggets squad against a banged up and very young Hornets team.
Danilo Gallinari had an off night and finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Looks like he's still trying to find the mark at the three-point arc and find the consistency he had a couple years ago (and we all know that Gallo is not allowed to have an off night shooting). Kenneth Faried put in a solid (for him) nights work with 14 points and 12 rebounds, but seemed to struggle on the defensive end when put up against Ryan Anderson (who had all 16 of his points in the first half).
The enigma that is JaVale McGee continues to make me scratch my head. The Nuggets center, at times, looked like he was playing 1-on-5 basketball on the offensive end, but then would show how in sync he is with Andre Miller and have a couple sweet lob pass dunks. In that same token, on defense JaVale looks like he doesn't understand what's going on ... or just doesn't care. Yet, he will intimidate people who come into the paint and alter shots just by being there. So strange and I can see why he would be infuriating. JaVale ended the night with 8 points and 6 rebounds.
After the Nuggets got up by 27 points in the third quarter, the benches were emptied and the Nuggets played both Evan Fournier and Jordan Hamilton. After making a colossal brain fart on the defensive end against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, it seemed like Hamilton was intentionally kept out of this game until it was clear the Nuggets were well on their way to winning. While he was in Hamilton did some good things, had a great alley-oop dunk from Corey Brewer, and made people encouraged again by his presence. Fournier got into the game for the first time in a very long time and had 4 points in limited action. Anthony Randolph got in the game at the end and ... well ... was Anthony Randolph.
All in all, great win. Starters got rest as the team prepares for the Utah Jazz.
Nuggets of Wisdom
The team is now 8-6 and two games over .500 for the first time this season. Nice to get an easy breezy victory for a change, and I'm sure it felt great to get two games in a row at home. Now, the Nuggets fly out for another trip, this time going to Utah. Hopefully they can use this rest to get some additional momentum going forward.
Great win for the team tonight.
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