The Nuggets weekend finished much better than it began. Coming off Friday night's loss to the worst team in the NBA, the team rebounded with a 102-93 victory in the first battle since the Hornets became the Pelicans (appearing as "NOP" on the Altitude Sports ticker).
Denver's starting backcourt made history on Friday, blanked for the first time since the 1980s. Tonight, the starting frontcourt stood out for all the right reasons. J.J. Hickson (19 points, 11 rebounds), Wilson Chandler (19 Points, 5 rebounds), and Kenneth Faried (12 points, 9 rebounds) dominated the paint and the glass against a Pelicans team missing star big man Anthony Davis. Ryan Anderson led all scorers with 26 points in a losing effort.
The Nuggets dug themselves an early hole once again. New Orleans jumped out to a 8-0 lead in the first two minutes, causing Brian Shaw to call an early time out in what has become a December ritual. Denver fought back but still trailed 27-24 after the first frame, marking the 8th straight game the team has faced a deficit after one quarter.
After a back and forth second quarter, Randy Foye gave his team a lift heading into the locker room with a buzzer beating three pointer, evening the contest at 52 points a piece.
The momentum carried through the half into the 3rd quarter, where Denver's defense clamped down, holding New Orleans to 16 points, good for a 7 point lead by the time the period was done.
The 4th was a Pepsi Center pleaser, capped off by a sequence that featured a:
1. Nate Robinson left-handed block of Eric Gordon
2. Jordan Hamilton one handed put back dunk off a missed 3 pointer
3. Hickson poster dunk on a pick-and-roll with Ty Lawson
The Nuggets improved to 14-9 on the season, 7-3 at home. New Orleans fell to 11-11, snapping a 3 game road winning streak.
Stats to Ponder:
- Denver out-rebounded New Orleans 51-31
- Denver made its first 10 free throws, finishing 21-28 (75%) from the charity stripe
- Jordan Hamilton's streak of games with at least one 3-pointer ended at 13 games
- Evan Fournier did not receive any playing time for the 2nd straight game
- The Nuggets scored more than 100 points for only the 2nd time in 6 games