After what seemed to be an eternity, the Denver Nuggets finally break their five game losing streak by defeating the Indiana Pacers tonight 113-109. Led by a fantastic effort by Corey Brewer, Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo the Nuggets are back on the winning track.
There was a moment during the end of the first quarter where I thought the Nuggets run of futility would never end. The Nuggets called a time out and, upset about several non-calls on fouls and out of bounds plays, Guard Andre Miller slammed down the basketball in frustration. Garnering a technical. What happened, however, was the Nuggets proceeded from that moment on to re-ignite their will, their drive and their toughness and find that extra level of fortitude that they haven't possessed since they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers at the beginning of February. Going from 13 down to tied the game at 60 going in to the second half.
Star of the game status could go to many players. Yet, because he provided so much energy and a spark to the Nuggets starting rotation, Corey Brewer deserves that status. Coming off the sad occasion of his fathers death, Brewer seemed to play the best he has since the Nuggets played the Milwaukee Brewers in January. He finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. He also played great defense on Danny Granger . After lighting up the Nuggets for 17 in the first quarter, Granger finished with only 26 total points by the end of the game. Great defense and great energy from Mr. Brewer. Our deepest condolences from Denver Stiffs on the passing of your father.
Second and third stars of the game go to Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo. AAA is continuing his good play from the Golden State game. He ended the game with 23 points and 5 rebounds. More than that though, he hit a big shot in the closing minutes to expand the Nuggets lead to 4 which effectively ended the game right there. Also, he played respectable defense on Paul George and helped out on Granger. Keep this up AAA and people will start regaining their faith in you. Ty had himself a nice game and ... GASP ... drove the ball to the hoop against a stacked defensive interior. This proves it CAN be done folks!! Eureka! Ty finished the game with 27 points and 2 assists (the poor assist numbers show that Denver was shooting a high percentage on their jumpers tonight). Good for Ty. Keep doing that son, and the Nuggets will be just fine.
A couple sour notes. Nene Hilario left with a calf strain and seems to be out for a week. You get sick and tired of these injuries, and it makes it even more remarkable that the Nuggets managed to pull this one out with three starters injured and not playing. Al Harrington was stone cold for most of the night, and quite frankly looks like he could use a very long rest. He had 10 points (on 4-18 shooting). While he did do respectable work on defense (6 rebounds), at the end David West could get any shot he wanted (22 points on 10 of 11 shooting)...
...that is until David West remembered he was David West and missed a key free throw down the stretch and made the bone-head play of the night by throwing away a pass intended for Darren Collison into the back court. It wasn't even close. That's the David West we know and love from the Hornets. The Pacers have now lost three in a row, and the rigors of the compressed season are starting to catch up with the Eastern Conference' surprise team.
Aside from all that, Kosta Koufos again did good, competent center work and kept his rep up by steppin' up against Roy Hibbert in tough duty with Nene out. K2 had 7 points and 7 rebounds. Hibbert finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds and was virtually a non-factor in this game.
Overall, it is such a relief to be rid of that god awful stench of losing. The Nuggets needed this, and quite frankly a panicky fan base needed this. Now the Nuggets can proceed to the next game, against the Phoenix Suns, with a little bit more swag yo. While it will again be tough with Nene out of the lineup, they key to remember is winning begets winning. The Nuggets needed to "remember" how to win games. Now that they have been reminded, the test is to keep the momentum up with a brutal stretch of basketball games coming up.
Congrats on the win guys! Lets make it two in a row!
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