Notebook: Nuggets 132, Rockets 114



Posted Apr 7, 2013 12:50 AM

Michael Kelly, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Corey Brewer continued his hot play with 22 points, Andre Iguodala had 18 points and 14 assists and the Denver Nuggets won their franchise-tying 20th straight at home with a 132-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

Wilson Chandler scored 21 points in his first start for the injured Danilo Gallinari, who was lost to a torn ACL of his left knee in Thursday's win over Dallas.

Jeremy Lin had 23 points for the Rockets, who had their four-game winning streak stopped.

The Nuggets haven't lost at home since Jan. 18, but they haven't lost much at all lately. They have won four straight and 19 of 21 to move into third in the Western Conference with five games left.

QUOTABLE: "We have a very deep team and we had a lot of players step up. Basically the whole team stepped up."
-- Wilson Chandler

THE STAT: The Rockets committed 85 turnovers in four games against Denver this year -- all losses.

TURNING POINT: The Nuggets got hot in the second quarter and never cooled off. After being down 35-25 in the first they outscored the Rockets 77-48 over the next two quarters to turn it into a rout.

QUOTABLE II: "I think throwing the ball to them was a bigger focal point. They had 32 points off our turnovers and 18 points off offensive rebounds. There's no defense for throwing them the ball for a layup. It's hard to overcome."
-- Rockets coach Kevin McHale

HOT: The Nuggets set a season high in points and assists (40) despite not having their top two scorers in Ty Lawson and Gallinari. They keep pushing the pace and getting good results. Their depth showed through against Houston and could carry them for a while.

QUOTABLE III: "No one's going to feel sorry us. We're good enough and talented enough to continue playing well. People might be patient to figure it out a little bit, but we don't have a lot of time to figure it out."
-- Nuggets coach George Karl on his team overcoming injuries

NOT: The Rockets were hot from 3-point range in the first quarter, going 6-for-9 while leading by as many as 12. Over the next two quarters they were 3-for-14 and were blown out.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: The stat sheet rarely reflects the way Iguodala impacts a game, but it was hard to ignore his output against the Rockets. He set a season high in assists -- which was two shy of his career high -- while playing shutdown defense on James Harden.

GOOD MOVE: The Nuggets weren't afraid to challenge the Rockets to push the pace. Houston plays the same style but Denver feels it does it better, and it showed.

BAD MOVE: The Rockets couldn't handle Denver's pressure defense. They rushed passes, forced shots and got out of sync offensively.

QUOTABLE IV: "We're never going to play a perfect game, but we have to push the ball up the floor and get to our spots and play without throwing crazy passes, cross-court passes. They have length and taller wings so we have to be smarter with how we push it."
-- Jeremy Lin

ROOKIE WATCH: Evan Fournier looks like he'll stay in the rotation even when Lawson returns. He had 17 points and five assists and McHale credited his scrappy play as one reason the Nuggets turned things around in the second quarter. So far the rookie has looked unflappable as his minutes have increased.

NOTABLE: The Nuggets last won 20 straight Jan. 9-March 30, 1985. ... Rockets forward Chandler Parsons sat out his third game in the last four with a right calf injury. ... The Nuggets' 40 assists were the most since having 44 against Seattle on March 26, 2008.

UP NEXT: For the Rockets, Tuesday vs. Phoenix, Friday vs. Memphis, Sunday, April 14, vs. Sacramento. For the Nuggets, Wednesday vs. San Antonio, Friday @ Dallas, Sunday, April 14, vs. Portland.