Nuggets 97, Celtics 90
By Marc D'Amico, February 20, 2013

Key Moment

Danilo Gallinari hit seven field goals Tuesday night against the Celtics and none was bigger than the one that fell through the net with 5:19 remaining in the game.

Boston had trailed by as many as eight points in the final quarter but made an impressive comeback to tie the game up at 84-84 with 5:34 remaining. Avery Bradley is the man who tied it up with a 3-pointer and it looked at if the Celtics were going to ride their momentum to the victory lane. Gallinari, however, stopped the C’s in their tracks.

Only 15 seconds after Bradley nailed his three, Gallinari responded with one of his own to bring his scoring total up to 25 points and to put the Nuggets back on top by three points. Denver never relinquished the lead from that point on.

Gallinari’s 3-pointer was important on the scoreboard but it was even more critical for Denver’s state of mind. The Nuggets were crumbling while the Celtics were rolling with all of the momentum. Denver needed a pick-me-up, and it was Gallinari who provided it with his trey. That shot lifted the spirits of his teammates and lifted Denver to a win.

Key Box Score Line

Tonight’s Key Box Score Line is a rarity – it’s key because of how ugly it looks, not how pretty it looks.

Paul Pierce struggled in his first game after the All-Star break and it truly hurt the C’s. He did contribute another well rounded performance, but it consisted of only 10 points, six rebounds and six assists. He finished the contest with just two made field goals on 14 attempts and and fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Now let’s be fair – every player has his off nights. This was one of them for Pierce. He has been playing at an unbelievable level for the past three weeks and is the main reason why the Celtics have been surging of late. However, when he struggles to score like he did tonight, it makes it incredibly difficult for Boston to grab a victory, particularly on the road.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jeff Green (20 points) and Avery Bradley (17 points) each scored season highs.
  • Kenneth Faried was the only player to grab double-digit rebounds. He finished with 16.
  • Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson scored 26 points apiece for the Nuggets.
  • Gallinari finished with a plus-20 in the plus/minus category, which was 13 points higher than the next-best player.
  • Each team had five players score in double-figures.
  • Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett led the Celtics in rebounds with nine apiece.
  • Paul Pierce fouled out of the game after scoring just 10 points on 2-for-14 shooting.
  • There were just 20 turnovers committed in the game.
  • There were nine ties and nine lead changes in the contest.
  • Both teams shot 7-for-20 from 3-point range.
  • The Nuggets made eight more free throws (24) than the Celtics attempted (16).

Quote of the Night

I thought it started in the beginning of the third. I thought every single guy was just trying to make plays, and that's because they wanted to win, but I didn't think we trusted each other at all tonight. Doc Rivers on his team's offense in Denver