Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Nuggets 119, Celtics 99

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Boston Celtics used up a lot of energy on the defensive end during Wednesday’s 99-86 win against the Warriors in Oakland.

Unfortunately for the C’s, it appears they didn’t save any defensive vigor for Friday’s contest in Denver.

The Nuggets pummeled Boston out of the gate, notching 35 first-quarter points on 57 percent shooting from the field, en route to a 119-99 win.

Wilson Chandler was a thorn in the Celtics’ side early on, scoring 13 of his game-high 23 points during the first quarter. His efforts helped Denver build up a 20-point lead by the second quarter, and the Nugs never looked back from there.

The crushing point for Boston came in the points-in-the-paint department. Denver outscored the C’s 18-6 in the paint during the first quarter, and finished with a 58-28 advantage in that category.

The Celtics’ defense simply had no answer for Denver’s offensive outpour Friday night, and that was evident right from the get-go.

Key Player

As of Friday morning, it was doubtful that Nikola Jokic would be suiting up against the Boston Celtics as he battled an illness.

That projection turned out to be wrong, and it turned out to be the difference in the game.

Not only did Jokic push past his illness and join his fellow starters on the court for the opening tip; he impacted the game in every phase for the Nuggets, and was the reason why they were able to blow out the C’s.

During 27 minutes of play, the second-year stud tallied 21 points, and finished with game-highs in rebounds (10) assists (seven) and steals (four).

Brad Stevens before the game compared Jokic’s impact to that of Al Horford. The coach couldn’t be more correct as the 7-footer displayed rare playmaking skills for a man of his size.

Denver had a lot of offensive firepower Friday night, and Jokic provided a high percentage of its fuel.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston never led during the game.
  • Wilson Chandler scored 13 of his game-high 23 points during the first quarter.
  • Isaiah Thomas paced the C's in scoring with 21 points.
  • Denver had four players reach double figures in the scoring department by halftime.
  • Nikola Jokic led the game in rebounds (10), assists (7) steals (4) and turnovers (7).
  • Denver shot 52.9 percent (45-of-85) from the field.
  • Amir Johnson was the only Celtic to record a block. He finished with a game-high two swats.
  • Boston was out-rebounded 49-33.
  • Denver's offense dominated inside with a 58-28 scoring advantage in the paint.
  • Both teams turned the ball over 18 times.
  • The Celtics logged eight offensive rebounds, half of which were corralled by Marcus Smart.

Quote of the Night

If we play bad, we get beat. It doesn't matter who (we play).

Brad Stevens on Celtics playing up or down to their competition.

Key Player

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