Notebook: Nuggets 109, Pistons 97



Posted Nov 7, 2012 1:12 AM

By Mike Kelly, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Andre Iguodala had 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first home game at Pepsi Center to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 109-97 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night. Ty Lawson had 15 points and nine assists and JaVale McGee had 16 points off the bench for the Nuggets.

Greg Monroe had 27 points and 10 rebounds and Rodney Stuckey scored 17 for the Pistons, who fell to 0-4 on the season.

QUOTABLE: "We had some ups and downs throughout the game, but it was a good test for us to see if we could hold a lead. We're only going to get better. We're a work in progress."

-- Iguodala

THE STAT: The Nuggets struggled from 3-point range in their first three games, shooting just 24 percent from long range but came out hot in the first quarter. They hit four of their first six from behind the arc and finished 10-for-30 from 3-point range.

TURNING POINT: After the Pistons trimmed a 16-point deficit to seven with 3:38 left, Iguodala took over. He hit two free throws, scored on a dunk and hit a 15-foot turnaround fadeaway to put Denver up 13 and seal the game.

QUOTABLE II: "Coming to a new team, he's very respectful of what we have and what we've been. He's not going to shake the boat. He's going to figure out how we play and figure out what's a good shot and what's not a good shot. I think he's pressing a little bit but defensively he's solid."

-- Nuggets coach George Karl, on Iguodala

HOT: McGee had an impact, both good and bad. He had seven points in the first half when he had a three-point play and dunked an alley-oop from Andre Miller. In the third quarter he missed a tomahawk jam and had his shot blocked on the same possession but then had a key block on Brandon Knight at the other end. He followed that with another alley-oop before picking up a loose ball and driving all the way to the basket for a dunk that made it 83-74.

QUOTABLE III: "I feed off him but we also feed off of each other."

-- Kenneth Faried, on playing alongside McGee.


NOT: Knight didn't score his first points until midway through the third quarter and finished with just two points on 1-for-6 shooting. He did lead the team with nine assists.


INSIDE THE ARENA: Former Nuggets forward LaPhonso Ellis presented the game ball before the opening tip.

GOOD MOVE: Karl rotated his big men effectively against Detroit's smaller frontline. The Nuggets finished with a 52-35 edge in rebounds and outscored the Pistons 56-44 in the paint.


QUOTABLE III: "We knew coming into the game (rebounding) was one of their strengths. We have to do a better job of controlling the boards."

-- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank

ROOKIE WATCH: Kim English and Andre Drummond were forces in the first half for Detroit. English hit two 3-pointers to help the Pistons grab a quick lead and Drummond hit all three of his shots. Neither player was a factor in the second half.

NOTABLE: The Nuggets avoided starting the season 0-4. The last time they lost their first four games was in the lockout-shortened season of 1998-99. ... Monroe's double-double was the 52nd of his career. It was the 16th time he's had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in a game. ... The Nuggets had 11 blocked shots. They were 4-0 when recording 10 or more blocked shots last year.

UP NEXT: For the Pistons, Wednesday @ Sacramento, Friday @ Oklahoma City, Saturday @ Houston. For the Nuggets, Wednesday @, Houston, Friday vs. Utah, Saturday @ Golden State.