Nuggets at Rockets recap: Nuggets lock down defense on The Beard

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The Denver Nuggets overcome a horrible third quarter and hold off the Houston Rockets, winning 93-87. Andre Iguodala once again proves his worth.


Final - 11.7.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Denver Nuggets 25 31 13 24 93
Houston Rockets 18 23 23 23 87

Complete Coverage >


Game notes style! Lets do it!

First Quarter:

- Game hasn't even started yet and I'm already ticked off at James Harden. I had completely forgotten what an ... annoyance he can be.

- Nuggets start of with two mid range successful shots from Danilo Gallinari, and some excellent defense by Andre Iguodala. Defense looks very stout so far.

- Pace is rather frenetic. Up and down. After a Ty Lawson three the Nuggets lead the Rockets 11-9 at the 6:20 mark.

- The first time out comes with 5:33 left in the quarter. Harden has tried to flop several times and it has not been called Chris Marlowe says he spoke to lead official Joey Crawford who said that they just aren't calling the flops anymore. Probably explains the lack of free throw shooting around the league. Nuggets lead 13-11.

- Harden throws a rather wild alley-oop to Omer Asik, which misses and turns into a three point shot by Iguodala.

- Andre Miller checks in for Ty with 3:30 left in the quarter, and Kenneth Faried gets an and-1. JaVale McGee comes in during the free throw.

- McGee hits two free throws. Lead grows to 23-15 after a great pass to Faried by Gallo.

- Joey Crawford calls technical on Kenneth Faried for arguing over a foul.

- Corey Brewer replaces Gallo awith 1:00 left in the quarter.

Summary:

Quarter ends with the Nuggets leading 25-18. All in all an impressive quarter defensively, as James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons were all held in check. Gallinari was 2-3 shooting and looked a bit more confident. Manimal has 7 points and 4 rebounds, and Iguodala has 5 points and lock down defense on The Beard. Nuggets free throw shooting is still an issue (clearly) as they are only 3-7.

Second Quarter:

- Parsons starts the quarter with a three point shot, followed by a three from Carlos Delfino. Lead shrinks to one point at 25-24 Nuggets.

- Gallo comes back in with 11:00 remaining in the quarter.

- Joey Crawford calls double technicals on Gallo and Marcus Morris. Grumpy Joey tonight.

- Javale McGee is having himself a nice quarter. 10 points so far and some great rebounds and alley-oops. His chemistry with Andre Miller is undeniable, and he really flourishes when Dre is dishing him the ball.

- At the first time out of the quarter the Nuggets lead 33-29.

- McGee leaves with 7:00 left in the quarter with 10 points and 6 rebounds. James Harden comes back with 6:10 left in the quarter.

- Nuggets looking a little tired.

- Harden looks out of sorts. He's not getting foul calls, and is hurting his team by not getting back in transition. A Harden missed shot leads to a fast-break with Ty Lawson who scores a layup. Nuggets lead 42-35 and Ty has 10 points. McHale calls time out.

- Nuggets blitzing the Rockets now. Gallo hits a mid range shot and Ty gets another fast break bucket and hits a wild banked shot, then follows it up with a three-point shot.

- You know things are going well when Corey Brewer hits a three point shot! Nuggets go on a 15 - 2 scoring run and now lead the Rockets 54-39 heading to a timeout with 2:19 left in the quarter. Ty Lawson has 17 points.

- McGee comes in for Kosta Koufos at the 1:45 mark.

- Sloppy play to end the half.

Summary:

Nuggets 56-41 at halftime. Nuggets outscore the Rockets 31-23 in the 2nd quarter. High scorers are Ty Lawson with 17 points and JaVale McGee with 10 points of his own. Team has 28 rebounds in the FIRST HALF. Nice. Offensive flow is pure and the defense is incredible.

Third Quarter:

- Melvin Hunt says "presentation of presence" ... yes ... ponder on THAT!

- Harden misses two three throws to start the quarter. His poor night continues.

- Nuggets look rusty to start. Thank god for Jeremy Lin and his turnovers. Nuggets have yet to hit a shot, and Houston has only hit one. Ugly basketball.

- Kosta Koufos breaks the Nuggets drought with two free throws with 8:15 left.

- I'd say more at this point but both teams look awful. Parsons picks up his 4th foul with 7:25 left. Nuggets lead 58-47.

- Faried gets an awesome offensive rebound and scores. Harden finally hits a free throw, and follows it up with another and makes the score 61-51 Nuggets with 5:53 left in the quarter. Nuggets offense has gone into the dumps.

- Nuggets offenseive flow is nonexistent. Houston has closed within six points at 61-55. Ugly play. Ugly. Everything perimeter.

- Nuggets take a time out. Rockets close to withing two at 63-61. Offense is completely out of whack. Every player has missed a long perimeter shot. No flow. No defensive presence.

- Gallo hits an off balance shot, maybe this will break the Nuggets out of their slump this quarter. Delfino steps out of bounds and the Nuggets get the ball back.

- Corey Brewer gets fouled on the break, and the Nuggets extend the lead back up to 6 points. Then he follows that up with a block on Carlos Delfino. Andre Iguodala gets fouled, and just like that the Nuggets are back up by 8 points. 69-61

- Delfino hits a three as the quarter ends, and the Nuggets are up 69-65.

Summary:

This was one of the most forgettable quarters I've seen the Nuggets have so far this season. They allowed Houston to push them out on the perimeter, resulting in chaotic shots and no energy. Another problem I've seen is the Nuggets offense gives Gallo the ball in "desperate" situations to bail them out. Almost always resulting in an off-balance shot. This is contributing to Gallo's poor shooting percentage.

Fourth Quarter

- Iguodala hits a long two point shot to start the quarter.

- Followed up by a desperation three point shot by Delfino. Nugget killer. Corey Brewer (!) answers with a three of his own. Corey Brewer is an energy guy. Nuggets needed it big time. Draws a foul and is now shooting two. He makes both and the Nuggets are now up by 9 points - 76-67.

- Koufos comes back in for McGee at the 9:27 mark of the quarter.

- Nuggets seem to have their mojo back. Koufos and Ty draw a jump ball with Asik. They lead by nine 78-69.

- Harden draws a questionable foul on Manimal. Hits two free throws.

- Gallo comes in for Koufos at the 7 minute mark. Gallo is the tallest player on the court now.

- Ty hits a layup. Harden hits a layup. Lawson comes back and draws a foul on Lin. At the 5:46 mark there's a time out and the Nuggets lead 82-74. Ty is having a big game.

- Matt Moore's favorite player, Corey Brewer, has 14 points off the bench.

- Gallo hits a BIG three! Nuggets up by 9 points.

- Ty has made some mental errors down the stretch. Draws a foul on Chandler parsons but has missed 3 free throws in a row. He missed his fourth in a row that was tipped in by Gallo.

- Andre Miller thhrows a THREE QUARTER COURT ALLEY OOP TO MANIMAL!! WOW! Nuggets lead by 9 points, 89-80 with 3:02 left in the game.

- Delfino hits another three.

- Harden pushes, in full view of the officials, Andre Miller. Wow ... no foul called on Harden, but one called on Miller who got up and grabbed Lin. Nuggets lead 91-85.

- Iguodala commits offensive basket interference (questionable call on replay, bad call actually). Faried with a HUGE block on the other end on Harden.

- KENNETH FARIED GETS THE BATTED OUT REBOUND AND GETS A BREAK AWAY DUNK!! Game OVA!! Nuggets lead 93-87 with 13.8 seconds left.

- Delfino misses a three point shot, Nuggets win.

Nuggets of Wisdom:

This was a weird game. Outside of one quarter they dominated this game. The third quarter (as you can read above) was just about the worst I've ever seen. After dominating the first half (leading by 14 at halftime) and looked to be on cruise control. However, they came alive in the fourth and held off the Rockets 93-87.

Gallo: 13pts 10rebs 3ast
Ty Lawson: 21pts 8ast
Manimal: 16pts 16rebs
Iguodala: 13pts and great defense on Harden
McGee: 12pts 6rebs
Brewer: 14pts and great energy
Miller: 0pts 5ast and an EPIC alley oop to Faried

Not much else to add to that. The Nuggets have now won two in a row. The team needs to take each game one step at a time and see where it takes them. After a game against the Jazz on Friday at home, the Nuggets will play the next five games on the road again. They need all the wins they can get, and this is a gut-check win.

Let me also add that the defense on Harden by Iguodala was exemplary. Period. Above and beyond anything he was the reason the Nuggets won this game. Lockdown defense makes a difference and that was amazing to watch. This is why the Nuggets got Iguodala, and if he gives efforts like this we can forgive the turnovers.

Now back home to play the Utah Jazz. Bring the same kind of effort for four quarters then things will work out fine. GOOOOO NUGGETS!!

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