The Denver Nuggets took charge of the game early, setting fire to the nets from downtown, as they lead wire to wire for the second time this season defeating the Boston Celtics 129 to 98. Boston amounted to little more than the buzzing of flies. Denver made their free throws, hit three pointers, created slam dunk opportunities, and owned the boards. The 31 point victory was the largest of the season as six Nuggets scored double figures.
Randy Foye finished with 23 points, hitting 7 three pointers. Kenneth Faried added a double-double, 21 points and 13 rebounds, while shooting 9-12 (!?) from the free throw line. Ty Lawson scored 19 points with 13 assists. Jeff Green lead Boston with 17 points. The most impressive Celtic stat: Avery Bradley's +/- was -40. Boston played uninspired while Denver was aggressive. They never let up. Denver extended their 30-point quarter streak to six after the third quarter tonight. A measly 26 points in the fourth quarter finally ended the fever stretch.
The first half was dominated by the Nuggets. Denver went 10-18 from three point land and went into the half up 23 points, the biggest halftime lead of the season. Strong team defense and active rebounding more than made up for 12 turnovers. The highlight of the half was an alley-oop from Ty Lawson to a streaking Kenneth Faried.
Jared Sullinger didn't last too long into the second half after accumulating two flagrant fouls. He fouled JJ Hickson hard from behind and quickly followed that up with an elbow to Faried's head as Sullinger attempted to turn toward the basket. He was ejected with 8:43 remaining in the third quarter. The former Ohio State big man now leads the league with 5 flagrant fouls, passing Clippers DeAndre Jordan and Matt Barnes.
Brian Shaw followed Sullinger's lead tallying his first and second technical fouls of his head coaching career, arguing a ticky-tack offensive foul call against Evan Fournier, and was shown to the exit door. Denver lead by 28 at the time. The game was never in doubt after the first half. The Nuggets hit the offensive glass hard and continued to let their stifling defense trigger fast break opportunities. Mozgov took charge for a stretch, accumulating two blocks and two dunks in the final five minutes of the third. He even added a technical foul for good measure. Mozzy finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds.
The fourth quarter was a necessary measure toward a foregone conclusion. Denver outplayed Boston in every facet of tonight's game and never allowed the lesser opponent to glimpse any possible outcome other than submission. This much welcomed three game winning streak is encouraging. Denver will need to maintain this aggressive temperament moving forward while taking care of the basketball. Good teams will make the Nuggets pay for 20+ turnovers. The next test is against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They would be considered one of those "good teams."