Print RSS Newsletter

Foye, Faried deliver 1-2 punch as Nuggets beat Rockets

By Aaron J. Lopez, Nuggets.com

Posted April 10, 2014 01:36


As Randy Foye sat on the bench between the third and fourth quarters, his teammates gathered around and fanned him with towels.

“We had to,” Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried said. “He was so hot, he couldn’t breathe.”

After repeatedly setting up his teammates in the first half, Foye scored 22 of his 30 points in the third quarter, and the Nuggets survived a late Houston rally for a 123-116 victory over the Rockets at Pepsi Center on Wednesday night.

Foye went 7-for-7 in the third quarter and finished with six 3-pointers. He also added 15 assists to help Denver secure a winning record at home for the 11th straight season.

“It was an amazing performance by Randy Foye,” Faried said. “I haven’t seen someone play that good in a while. He passed the ball well and showed his court vision out there on the floor.”

Faried scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half as the Nuggets built a 14-point halftime lead. The advantage was 22 early in the fourth quarter before the Rockets made a late push behind its reserves.

Houston, which erased a 14-point deficit in the final 5 minutes against Denver on Sunday, got as close as four points Wednesday night, but Foye and Evan Fournier hit clutch shots in the final two minutes to keep the Rockets at bay.

“I didn’t like the way we finished the game, but we had enough of a cushion to hang on,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “We stopped being aggressive and attacking offensively and started just walking the ball up court and trying to milk the lead. We were playing not to lose and it almost cost us.”

With another game looming at Golden State on Thursday, Shaw was hoping to keep Foye on the bench in the final eight minutes, but he put him back in the game when Houston got within seven.

Foye came through with a tough running shot that skimmed the top of the backboard with 1:39 remaining, and Fournier knocked down a 3-pointer to put the game out of reach.

Foye finished with six 3-pointers to give him a career-high 179 on the season. He is one behind J.R. Smith for second on Denver’s single-season list and 13 behind Dale Ellis’ franchise record of 192.

“I probably have a shot but I try not to think about that stuff,” Foye said. “I just try to work extremely hard on my off days when nobody is watching so that I’m ready when the ball comes to me. It feels good to be able to come in here in the first year and put a mark on the team right away.”

Foye has four more games to catch Ellis, starting with Thursday’s game at Golden State. Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the top two 3-point shooters in the NBA this season.

Foye is looking forward to the matchup.

“This is what I train for,” he said. “This is something I love to do. Who wouldn’t want to compete against the Splash Brothers on TNT?”


STAR OF THE GAME

Randy Foye

Points 30 10-17 FG, 4-4 FT
Rebounds 5, 2 OFF 3 DEF
Assists 15
Steals 2
Blocks 0
GAME LEADERS
Points Randy Foye 30
Rebounds Omer Asik 12
Assists Randy Foye 15
Steals Jan Vesely 3
Blocks Quincy Miller 4
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT Rockets coach Kevin McHale on Denver's dominance in the first half

Rockets

"They came out and just beat the hell out of us to start the game. Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov were just running down the floor, posting us up and throwing us out of the way. We had no answers for them."

KEY MOMENT

Foye squashes Houston rally with tough shot off glass

After Houston cut a 22-point fourth-quarter to four with 3:01 remaining, Nuggets guard Randy Foye sparked a 5-0 run when he banked a running shot off the top of the backboard with 1:39 to play.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“Well, I didn’t like the way we finished the game but we had enough of a cushion to hang on basically. It was one of those situations almost identical to the fourth quarter in Houston on Sunday where we played the score. We stopped being aggressive and attacking offensively and started just walking the ball up court and trying to milk the lead. [We were] playing not to lose and not playing to win and it almost cost us.”

On the great individual efforts:
“We had some great individual performances ourselves, starting out with Randy Foye who just really lit it up during that one stretch – he had 30 [points] and 15 [assists]. Timofey [Mozgov] with 22 [points] and 6 [rebounds] and Kenneth again with 23 [points] and 9 [rebounds]. The way they got us off to a good start at the beginning of the game was the key to the way the game ended up going.”

On if he enjoyed Randy Foye’s scoring streak:
“I did. I wanted to get him out [but] he hit one and another one and like I said, we rolled it and he rolled it. He was feeling it and he called his own number. It was at one point during that fourth quarter where he had played that whole third quarter basically and I wanted to get him some rest. We had a big lead and I was putting Aaron in the game for him and Aaron said, “No, no, no! Leave him in!”. So I ended up subbing Aaron in for Quincy [Miller] but the other guys on the team wanted to see him continue to shoot the ball the way he was and we needed every bit of it as it turned out.”

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

On Randy Foye:
“He had 22 points in the third quarter, it was an amazing performance by Randy Foye. I haven’t seen someone play that good in a while. He passed the ball well and showed his court vision out there on the floor. He always works on his game. His passing is improving this year.”

On tonight’s game:
“It was fun basketball but we almost let them come back in the fourth quarter and we shouldn’t have let that happen but we got the win. We had to get this game because we didn’t win when we went to Houston and we were very disappointed but we came back tonight and ran the floor well. Everybody played hard.”

Nuggets guard Randy Foye

On how it felt to score 30 points and dish out 15 assists:
“It felt great, obviously. They were messing with me the whole time yesterday—we were shooting free throws after practice and they had given us the day off before and coach was like, ‘Man, you missed that free throw we could have been up by four.’ So that was eating at me and I just came in and was just shooting, shooting, shooting and I was wishing we had a back-to-back against them because I wanted to play against them again because I felt as though I cost us the game. A lot of big mistakes at the end, and it just feels good to go out there tonight and know I was a huge part of the victory.”

On how he was feeling in the third quarter when he was seven-for-seven for 22 points:
“I just think it was a karma thing where in the beginning I had some shots where I could have come off and pulled up, but I passed it to Kenneth (Faried), I passed it to Timo (Mozgov) and got those guys going. I had 11 assists in the first half, and it kind of opened everything up, so now when I was coming off pick-and-rolls, you could see on the last three in the first half they were splitting it so I was just coming off and knocking them down.”

On moving up the Nuggets single-season three-point chart:
“I probably have a shot (of catching Dale Ellis’ franchise record), but I try not to think about that stuff. I just try to work extremely hard on my off days when nobody is watching so that I’m ready when the ball comes to me. There were a couple times at the end of the Houston game down in Houston when the ball came to me and I wasn’t ready to shoot it. It feels good to be able to come in here in the first year and put a mark on the team right away.”

Rockets coach Kevin McHale

On tonight’s performance:
“[The Nuggets] came out and just beat the hell out of us to start the game. Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov were just running down the floor, posting us up and throwing us out of the way. We had no answers for them. Then, in the third quarter, we got them [Faried and Mozgov] somewhat controlled and Randy Foye went crazy. So, our other guys came in and they fought and tried to make things interesting. But, by that time we had given them a huge lead.”

On points allowed over a stretch of games:
“The defense is bad. The ball is going wherever it wants. We can’t control the ball. The ball gets whatever it wants. All the bigs are running all over the floor and posting up in the middle of the paint. Tonight, they just outran us and outworked us early and like I said, we couldn’t control the ball.”

Rockets guard Jeremy Lin:

On falling behind early:
“I think they just spread us out and just moved the ball. They made great plays. They had guys catch fire, [Kenneth] Faried and [Timofey] Mozgov in the first half and Randy Foye in the second. We were just never able to make them uncomfortable.”

On defensive performance:
“It would be nice if I could sit here and be like ‘oh we were tired’ but they did the same thing to us when we were in Houston. At the end of the day I think we just have to have a little more pride on defense … It’s definitely a reason for concern. I do think that we can sure up some things but I do think we should be concerned but I don’t think we should overreact.”

Rockets guard James Harden:

On injury in third quarter:
“I guess I got kneed in the shin but it was pretty painful. For a couple of seconds my leg just went numb. It was very painful. I tried to go out there and play on it but I just need some rest and ice it.”

On lack of defense previous two games:
“It’s two games. Both those teams play pretty fast. We have to get back in our defensive mode. We haven’t really had a chance to practice in a long time so hopefully we can get it corrected soon.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Randy Foye scored 22 points on 7-7 FG’s, 4-4 3FG’s in the third quarter becoming the first player to record those numbers in a quarter in the NBA since Ty Lawson on 1/18/2013 (23 points on 8-8 FG’s).

• Additionally, Foye became the first Nuggets player to record 30 points, 15 assists and five rebounds in a game since Allen Iverson had 44 points, 15 assists and five rebounds vs. PHX 3/17/07.

• Quincy Miller blocked four shots tying a career-high which was set in the previous meeting at Houston on Sunday (4/6/14).

• Timofey Mozgov scored 22 points on 9-13 FG’s while also grabbing six rebounds, it marked the fourth time in the last five games in which he registered 15+ points including two 20+ point outings.

• Rockets center Omer Asik scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds registering his third straight double-double, his fifth in the last seven games and his sixth on the season.

TEAM

• The Nuggets earned their fourth wire-to-wire victory of the season tonight and have now won nine of the last 12 home games over Houston.

• Denver finished their season-series against Houston 1-2, avoiding being swept by the Rockets for the first time since 2002-03.

• Houston is now 31-5 against sub-.500 teams this season.

• The Nuggets moved to 8-2 on the year and 54-10 since 2009-10 when facing an opponent at home on the second game of a back-to-back set.

• Tonight was the third and final time this season that Denver plays back-to-back games against the same team, with all three hailing from Texas (won 2 straight against DAL, lost 2 straight against SAS and 1-1 against HOU).

• The Nuggets scored a season-high 66 points in the paint tonight.

• Denver has made 50-or-more field goals for the third time in the last four games and sixth time this season. Their six such games is the most by any team in a single season since Phoenix did it nine times in 2008-09.

• Denver dished out 31 assists on 50 made field goals and improved to 11-3 on the season when recording 28+ assists.

• Houston attempted 40 3FG’s and 11 of the 12 players that saw time had at least one attempt, that ties for the fifth most three point attempts in franchise history (1-5 in those games).