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Recap: Denver Nuggets roll over the Detroit Pistons

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Detroit Pistons v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Denver Nuggets took on the Detroit Pistons Tuesday, and they started the game off with an easy bucket for Jamal Murray off of a great Nikola Jokic pass. The two sides traded buckets over the next few minutes, which included a floater by Gary Harris, and a big 3-point bucket from Murray that gave the team a 9-4 lead before Christian Wood got a tip-in to fall.

Aside from a Derrick Rose layup, the two sides proceeded to trade misses until the eight minute mark when Wood got a floater to fall in the paint. Following Wood’s lead-taking shot, the Nuggets made back-to-back buckets to take a 13-10 lead which forced a timeout out of Pistons’ coach Dwane Casey. Coming out of the timeout, Detroit got a bucket, and Jokic was called for an offensive foul, which was overturned following a challenge from Michael Malone.

Denver got a bucket before getting a steal and score on the very next possession. Following a 12-2 run that got Denver up by nine, Detroit was able to kill the run with a 3-point basket of their own that cut it to six with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Detroit proceeded to rip off eight straight points that gave them a two point lead just short of three minutes remaining which led to a timeout by Malone.

After trading misses, Grant got a free-throw line jumper to fall that tied the game up with a little over two minutes remaining. Following a Brandon Knight miss, Denver got out on the break to regain the lead on their ninth fast-break points of the night. Up by four with 20 seconds remaining, Murray got a bucket to fall with the shot-clock expiring which had them up by six heading into the second quarter.

Mason Plumlee capped off an 10-0 run with an alley-oop dunk before Detroit’s triple stopped the bleeding. Following a great block by Plumlee, he found Monte Morris cutting for a reverse layup. After trading buckets, Michael Porter Jr. found Grant underneath the basket for a huge dunk that gave the team an 11-point lead, and it forced Casey to call a timeout.

After got out to a decent lead, they got a little sloppy with the ball that allowed Detroit to get back within seven before Grant killed the run with a layup. Denver was getting sloppy with the ball, and they gave up a 10-3 run over a three minute span that had allowed them to get within six. Jokic got them some breathing room by converting an and-one shot after being fouled by Rose. After Wood was called for his third foul, Casey challenged it with four minutes remaining.

Coming out of the timeout, Denver missed a bucket which led to a 3-point shot by Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. Following consecutive turnovers by Denver, they prevented a bucket on each possession before Gary Harris got a steal of his own which led to a big dunk. After Jokic got the team a 10-point lead on free throws, Brandon Knight nailed a deep 3-point shot before Paul Millsap committed an offensive foul which gave them their 11th turnover.

Denver got four free throws to fall before Jokic found Grant for a circus layup that gave them a 13-point lead with under one minute remaining. Murray nailed a pair of free throws with 20 seconds remaining that took their 13-point lead into the half following a miss by Detroit.

Starting the third quarter, Rose got a pair of free throws to fall, but Jokic got the points back immediately with a fadeaway jumper. After a miss by Rose, Jokic couldn’t quite get a tip to fall, but he stayed with the play to get a steal which led to a bucket. After a turnover by Jokic, Detroit was called for a technical foul on one of their assistant coaches, but nothing came of it when Murray missed the freebie. The two sides traded buckets for the next few minutes before Denver called a timeout up by 13.

Detroit was able to convert a 3-point shot that brought them within 10 with 7:15 to go. After a turnover by Denver, Rose was fouled on a 3-point shot, and he cashed all three to bring them within seven. Denver was on a long cold stretch, and the Pistons had gotten with six before Millsap tipped in a miss at the basket. Following a steal by Morris, Harris nailed a 3-point shot that gave them an 11-point lead and forced a timeout from Casey with 5:06 to go.

After the two sides traded misses, Jokic found Grant underneath for an easy bucket, but Knight nailed another deep 3-point shot to bring Detroit within eight. Grant nailed one of his own though with 3:15 remaining in the quarter. Down by 12 following a Nuggets turnover, Langston Galloway splashed a 3-point shot with 1:00 remaining which caused Malone to call an immediate timeout.

Out of the timeout, Plumlee was able to draw a foul, but he went just 1-of-2 at the line. Following a Detroit miss with 28 seconds remaining, Denver was holding for the final shot. Morris made a mid-range jump shot with six seconds remaining. Knight was taking the ball up the court where he launched himself into Plumlee to draw a foul when Plumlee shouldn’t have even been in the play. Following the free throws, Denver went into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead.

To start the fourth quarter, Plumlee nailed a pair of free throws, but Sekou Doumbouya nailed a 3-point shot right away. Following a miss by Detroit, Murray found Grant for a huge dunk to give them a 14-point lead and force a Detroit timeout. Out of the timeout, Detroit was unable to convert their shot before Murray found Plumlee who found Grant for another huge dunk with 9:15 to go.

Porter got aggressive in transition to give the team their largest lead of the night at 18 before Wood ended the run. Murray nailed a pair of free throws before Galloway made another 3-pointer, but Grant was keeping the lead steady at 17 with a long jumper. Porter helped grow the lead with a layup following a shovel pass from Plumlee. After a make by Detroit, and several Denver offensive rebounds, Jokic nailed a 3-point shot that grew the lead to 20 with 4:45 to go.

Galloway cashed his fourth 3-point shot of the night to bring them within 17 and force a Denver timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Wood made a pair of free throws that brought them within 15. After a steal by Barton, Grant got another mid-range jumper to go that gave him 23 on the night. However, Tony Snell got a 3-point shot to fall that brought them within 14 before Murray answered with one of his own.

Up by 17 with under two minutes remaining, Denver was relaxing on both ends, and the bench was entering the game. Noah Vonleh got a bucket to fall in the paint with 1:30 remaining as the clock was slowly winding down. Following a miss by Detroit, Grant nailed his second 3-point shot of the night that gave him a season-high 26. He followed it up with another 3-point shot on the very next possession.

Down by 20, Detroit got to the foul line where they went 1-of-2, but Dante Hall converted the miss to give them 98, but the final score was 115-98 Denver. After dropping the previous meeting with Detroit, this was a big win for them that gave them their 40th of the season, and they were keeping their hold on second place in the Western Conference.

Stat Leaders

Points: Jerami Grant - 29

Assists: Jamal Murray - 8

Rebounds: Michael Porter Jr. - 8

Player of the Game: Jerami Grant 29 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 12-of-16 field goals, 3-of-5 3-point