The Denver Nuggets lost their second in a row as the Philadelphia 76ers handed them a beating tonight. The first quarter was competitive, but Denver could not foster any consistent momentum. Nikola Jokic played fantastic again along with some efficient play from Barton but it was not enough. Denver’s bench struggled more than any game this season giving Philly several opportunities to extend their lead.

Denver’s next task is tomorrow night against the new and improved Chicago Bulls. Throughout the last couple of seasons, the Nuggets have been the best team in the NBA on back to backs. They lost their first opportunity this season and will obviously want to right the ship after a disappointing performance, so tomorrow appears to be a very intriguing contest.

1st Quarter

  • Both teams like to play at a methodical pace and it was evident throughout the first two minutes. Both teams drained the shot clock to find good looks. The Nuggets began shooting 4-7 and the 76ers 2-9
  • Denver looked prepared and energized early. They collapsed the paint when Philly drove to the hoop and rotations were crisp. Offensively, Denver was aggressive scoring 8 of their first 11 points in the paint.
  • Following a timeout after an 11-6 lead, the Nuggets got sloppy. Tyrese Maxey ignited some energy with a couple of layups and a three followed by a wide open Tobias Harris three
  • The end of the first was the most competitive period of the quarter. Both teams traded baskets, Jokic and Maxey were the offensive catalysts.
  • Both teams benches entered the game in the final minutes of the first quarter. Bones immediately picked up the pace of the game. Although he didn’t score, he controlled the offense well.

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 15, Maxey – 11

Score: 24-23 Philadelphia

2nd Quarter

  • 76ers closed the first quarter well and that momentum carried into the second. They began the quarter on a 12-2 scoring run
  • Once Barton and Jokic went to the bench, the game completely changed. Barton and Jokic were shooting 9/11 while the rest of the team shot 1/11
  • Philadelphia took a 41-27 lead off lethargic, absentminded Nugget basketball. They committed multiple turnovers, were short on most jump shots, and left Philadelphia wide open from the perimeter.
  • 76ers backup center Charles Bassey played some excellent minutes in the first half. He tallied 3 blocks and 7 points. There was no fear in his game, he played physical, confident and set the tone for their whole bench
  • Once Bassey exited the game, Denver went on 14-4 run to close the Sixers lead to 10
  • The Nugget deficit might have been 30 at the half without Jokic and Barton. Jokic hit three three’s in the half and the two combined for 42 of Denver’s 52 points
  • Although Denver closed the quarter well offensively, the could not stop a nosebleed at the other end. Several times in that second quarter, Seth Curry easily drove to the basket without any deterrent

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 27, Maxey – 13

Score: 58-52 Philadelphia

3rd Quarter

  • The 76ers entered the second half with the same execution they had in the first. They moved the ball well, created drive and kick opportunities, and hit the shots they were offered
  • Midway through the quarter Michael Malone finally had enough. He was irate about a non-call on a potential Curry offensive foul and got ejected
  • Sometimes an ejection kindles some immediate energy and production throughout the team but that was not the case for Denver. The offense was extremely stagnant, no cutters, and people just spectating on the perimeter
  • A Maxey three and two Harris fadeaways gave Philly their largest lead of 20 at 85-65. The Nuggets had no answers on both ends and the 76ers did not yield any room for error
  • Up to the 50 second mark in the 3rd, the only bench player to score was JaMychal Green who had 3 points

Scoring leaders: Jokic – 29, Curry – 18

Score: 87-69 Philadelphia

(The Nugget twitter did not post any highlights of the 3rd quarter because it was horrendous)

4th Quarter

  • The Nuggets opened the quarter missing their first two shots while Philly made their first two shots. Nuggets lacked concentration throughout the night
  • As the bench came in, they did make a little run to cut the lead to 14. The defensive intensity increased forcing three turnovers and they capitalized on offense
  • Every time the Nuggets climbed back into the game Tobias Harris would bring them back to earth. His post fadeaway was working all night and Denver offered him easy straight line drives in the 4th
  • Towards the end of the quarter, the Nugget offense panicked. Forcing up quick, unnecessary shots and it killed any momentum they once had

Scoring leaders: Jokic 30, Maxey – 22

Score: 103-89 Philadelphia

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic – 30

Assists: Barton – 8

Rebounds: Jokic – 10

Silent Hero of the Game: Charles Bassey – 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks on 5-7 shooting from the field. Denver played well until he entered the game, and he gave Philly the momentum they needed and they never relented since