The Denver Nuggets (8-4) lose to the Boston Celtics (9-3) 131-112. Both teams came into tonight on a 4-game win streak but the Nuggets streak, unfortunately, came to an end. Bones Hyland was a late scratch for tonight and his presence on the bench was sorely missed. Denver had no answer defensively for Boston at times, allowing multiple runs and they could not keep up offensively with the Celtics in the first half. Without Nikola Jokić, KCP and Bruce Brown helped get the Nuggets back in the game during the 3rd quarter but, ultimately fall short in the end.
Jayson Tatum was the games leading scorer with 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jaylen Brown added 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists of his own while shooting 10-15. Denver was led by Nikola Jokić who finished with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. Denver had 3 players who finished with 15+ points as well as one with 14 points. Boston shot 55% compared to Denver’s 45% and 43% to the Nuggets 41% from three.
The Celtics win the tip-off and scored layups on back-to-back possessions which was followed up by a lop to Aaron Gordon. The Celtics offense came out firing, starting the game shooting 6 for 7 and they score 7 straight points to force a Nuggets timeout early. Nikola Jokić stops the run with a three-pointer and a layup next possession. The Nuggets struggle shooting to start the game while Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combine for 20 points halfway through the first. The Celtics go on a 9-0 run and go up by as many as 12, while the Nuggets only had 12 points at the time. The Nuggets struggle to guard the Celtics 5-out lineup, they allow Boston to shoot 64% and Denver only shoots 38% as the deficit grows to 11.
Jamal with a little bit of jelly pic.twitter.com/VhE3A8KX9C— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 12, 2022
The bench plus MPJ end off the 1st quarter and start to warm up, scoring on 4 straight possessions. Also chaining together a few defensive stops, Denver ended the quarter shooting 47% and Boston shot 61%. Nuggets are down by 8, 25-33 after the first.
The Nuggets open the 2nd with an and-1 from Bruce Brown, getting the deficit down to 7. Jayson Tatum has 12 points early, the Nuggets have no answer for him. Denver allows 5 offensive rebounds on a single possession and Malone calls timeout. That will be a season low-light for sure. Jamal Murray enters the game to give Denver more of an offensive edge but it is unsuccessful, the Celtics lead grows to 15. The Nuggets were being out-rebounded 20 to 9 halfway through the second. The Nuggets defense struggled at points, allowing 4 three-pointers for Boston. Denver goes on a 12-2 run after being down by as many as 19. The Celtics hang on behind 2 Al Horford three-pointers and go into halftime leading the Denver Nuggets 66-57 at the half.
Joker with the no-look dish to AG— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) November 12, 2022
22 PTS, 6 REB, 5 AST pic.twitter.com/M8gPUrNzIp
Nikola Jokić comes out of halftime and scores 5 points for the Nuggets and also draws a charge. Tatum scores on back-to-back possessions and Jaylen Brown keeps up his perfect shooting night, he’s shooting 8-8 with 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Jokić leaves the game earlier than anticipated with 4 fouls. Denver has not been able to get the deficit to less than 7 since the first quarter. But, behind a 23-12 run the Nuggets get within 2. KCP hits three straight three-pointers and Denver has now shot 5/6 from 3 compared to Bostons 2/6 from 3 in the quarter.
Boston adapts a zone defense and increases their lead back to 6 to close the quarter. Denver brought the deficit down to 1 point without Nikola Jokić, but ultimately trail 97-91 to start the 4th quarter.
Jokić comes back into the game to start the 4th quarter, he creates two shots in a row for MPJ and Jeff Green but both are missed. MPJ contests a corner three from Tatum and fouls him in the process for a flagrant foul. On Denver’s next possession, Marcus Smart draws a charge on Nikola Jokic, but the Nuggets challenge the call and it was reversed. Since the deficit was down to one point, the Celtics have been on a 23-8 run. Horford and Tatum have combined for 16 of the 16 Celtic points in the 4th. The Nuggets only scored on free throws from the 8-minute 44-second mark till the 5-minute 16 seconds mark. The Nuggets starters with Bruce Brown instead of MPJ enter the game down by 11 with 4 minutes to go. KCP ends up on the ground while fighting for a rebound with Smart and receives a technical foul for his arguing his case after the fact. Boston goes on a 7-0 run with 2 minutes left in the quarter and Denver takes their starters out of the game.
This game was not the outcome Denver hoped for, but it was by no means a difficult one to accept. Boston simply played better for the whole game. Denver made some runs at times, but the Celtics were always in control of this one. The Nuggets never gave up and have nothing to worry about with losing this one. Boston is a very physical team and is the number one team in the NBA in Ortg, beating them at home is no easy task.
The Denver Nuggets will take on the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, November 13th. The game is in Chicago at 6:00 MST and will be the last of the Nuggets current road trip.