The Denver Nuggets are doing their best to run away from their worst losing streak in years. On the heels of dropping 8 straight games, Denver won its 4th in a row tonight, with a 101-88 home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ty Lawson dished out 14 assists to go along with 16 points for his fifth straight double-double, but it was Denver's deadly 3-point shooting that defined tonight's outcome.
The Nuggets shot 14-31 from downtown, with many of their misses coming in a garbage time fourth quarter after the game's outcome had already been decided. Randy Foye dropped 6 from behind the arc (including a couple from Douglas County) as part of his game high 24 points.
While head coach Brian Shaw has shortened his bench and tightened his rotations since the now famous "role definition meeting" last week, two players who had barely seen any minutes on the season, Quincy Miller and Evan Fournier, took the spotlight in the first half.
Miller got his first career start in place of the injured Wilson Chandler. His reward: marking The Association's top scorer Kevin Durant. Miller had no more luck against Durant than anyone else in the league as the superstar notched 14 points in the first frame as part of his game high 30. But despite the scoring outburst, it was Denver with a 1 point lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Nuggets extended the gap in the 2nd behind Fournier, who has been a direct beneficiary of the minutes that were previously going to estranged guard Andre Miller. The Frenchman continued his hot shooting to the tune of 19 points on 7-13 from the field. Denver led 60-51 at the break looking every bit like the run and gun group that spent all of last year blowing teams out of the Pepsi Center.
The 2nd half was no different as Denver refused to let its foot off the gas pedal. The Nuggets outscored the Thunder 29-15 in the frame, rendering the 4th quarter useless (which turned out to be a good thing).
Denver's is now 1-2 against Oklahoma City this year, who undoubtedly miss the services of injured All-Star Russell Westbrook. The win also moves the team back above the .500 mark. Denver will wrap up its 3 game home-stand against Orlando on Saturday Night.
Stats to Ponder:
- Quincy Miller finished the game with 9 points and 2 rebounds in 20 minutes
- Randy Foye has made 13 three pointers in his last two games
- The Nuggets are 4-0 since suspending Andre Miller
- Denver's margin of victory over that span is over 17 points