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Karl's outburst, Lawson's 32 points lead Nuggets past T-Wolves

By Aaron J. Lopez, Nuggets.com

Posted March 10 2013 00:06

Tie flying, feet stomping, face reddening, Nuggets coach George Karl stormed up the sideline in protest.

Point guard Ty Lawson had just been called for his second offensive foul in a matter of 73 seconds and his 61-year-old coach was not about to hide his displeasure.

Anyone who questions Karl’s fire and passion need only watch the 30-second clip that captured him coming to the defense of his top player.

Following their coach’s lead, the Nuggets came to life in the second half Saturday night, extending their winning streak to eight games with a 111-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I’m a lot angrier than I show most of the time,” Karl said. “Your demeanor at home, sometimes you try to control (the anger) because your team needs a leader. Hopefully it helped.”

Lawson certainly responded, scoring 23 of his 32 points after halftime to help Denver (42-22) win its 13th straight home game and keep the pressure on the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies in the chase for home-court advantage in the Western Conference playoffs.

Lawson, who has scored at least 20 points in 11 of his past 13 games, appreciated the outward show of support from his coach.

“It makes you feel good,” he said. “It’s good to know you have the coach behind you. You know he’s going to battle for me; that’s why I’m on the court battling for him.”

Sluggish and sloppy throughout the first half, the Nuggets led 50-49 at the break but started to gain some separation midway through the third quarter.

With Denver leading by 10, Lawson drained a 3-pointer, only to see it wiped out when he was whistled for an offensive foul for kicking out his foot and making contact with the defender.

The Nuggets were still up 10 when Lawson picked up another offensive foul for bumping into Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio. The call sent Karl charging up the sideline.

“I think my team was fighting at that time to play the right way and get into the game,” Karl said. “It’s that time of the season where everyone is a little grumpy.”

During the outburst, Karl inadvertently shoved Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler as he headed toward the bench.

After watching the replay following the game, Karl sought out Chandler in the locker room and apologized.

“I wasn’t even mad that he pushed me,” Chandler said. “I wasn’t paying attention. I was walking to the bench and he was coming past. I was like, ‘Man, he’s kind of strong.’

“It was harmless. We probably weren’t getting the calls he wanted. It definitely fired us up a little bit.”

Luke Ridnour converted the free throw following Karl’s technical, but the Timberwolves went scoreless for nearly three minutes as Denver pushed the lead to 17 points.

Minnesota clawed back within nine early in the fourth quarter, only to see the Nuggets go on a 16-2 run over a 4:04 span to put the game out of reach and avenge a Jan. 3 home loss to the T-Wolves.

“We knew it was a trap game,” Lawson said. “They beat us last time on a trap game. We didn’t want history to repeat itself.”

The Nuggets improved to 28-3 at Pepsi Center – 19-1 against Western Conference opponents – and are in the midst of their longest single-season home winning streak since a 19-game tear in 1988-89.

“You have to be attuned to what is thrown at you and I thought my team was tonight,” Karl said. “It was a psychological game. We had a bad first half. I thought in the second half we did our jobs and figured out how to make it an easy win.”

Though Lawson led the charge for Denver, he had plenty of help from his supporting cast.

Andre Iguodala filled the stat sheet with 11 points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists and three blocked shots. Corey Brewer added 15 points off the bench, and Andre Miller had six assists that included two long baseball passes and a highlight reel dish to Brewer for a dunk.

Miller also credited his coach with a big assist.

“It was kind of throwback George,” he said. “It did give us some spark. Everybody played well. It was a good team effort.”

STAR OF THE GAME

Ty Lawson

Points 32 12-17 FG
Rebounds 1, 0 OFF 1 DEF
Assists 3
Steals 1
Blocks 0
GAME LEADERS
Points Ty Lawson 32
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 11
Assists D. Gallinari, A. Miller, R. Rubio 6
Steals Andre Iguodala 4
Blocks Andre Iguodala 3
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson on coach George Karl's outburst in the third quarter

"Yeah he got a little crazy out there. I was about to get my first technical ever out there, but coach beat me too it. I’ve never seen him that angry."

KEY MOMENT

Corey Brewer's fast-break slam ignites fourth-quarter surge

After Jose Barea hit a 3-pointer to pull Minnesota within nine early in the fourth quarter, Danilo Gallinari connected with Corey Brewer on a long outlet pass for an emphatic dunk. That started a 16-2 run over a 4:04 span that put Denver ahead by 23.
VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach George Karl

On his feel of the game and why he got a technical foul:
The game had weirdness to it from every standpoint; the way it was refereed, the way we played. Minnesota has been depleted and they played good, they played bad. It was a very uncomfortable game for me. I’m definitely a believer that Ty [Lawson] doesn’t get many calls. Then when he gets a couple of calls taken away from him, it angers me. I think my team was fighting at that time to play the right way and get into the game. It’s that time of the season where everyone is a little grumpy.

On pushing Wilson Chandler while getting his technical foul:
I used to be stronger in my old days. I used to throw coaches around in my day. The weirdness was there; [Rick] Adelman gets a technical, [Ricky] Rubio gets a technical, I got a technical and I’m sure Ty [Lawson] wanted to get a technical. Both sides we’re pretty grumpy.

On Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee in the second half:
Corey is just a great runner of the court. Tonight he was curling and cutting. He was effective in the second half, and in the first half. We have a lot of confidence in him jump starting our game offensively and defensively at times. He gets steals and gets his hands on balls and in the second half JaVale [McGee] made some good defensively. I don’t know how many steals we had at halftime but I think we had almost twice as many in the second half. I would just like to see our defensive attitude get into the game a little earlier.

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson

On what is the most satisfying aspect of the second half of the season:
“I just love that we’re winning. I know we’re playing better, but we’re all playing better the second half of the season and our record shows it. During the first half [of the season] there were a little bit of worries from management and coaches if we were going to make the playoffs. We got it straight, and we’ve been playing well.”

On George Karl’s technical foul:
“Yeah he got a little crazy out there. I was about to get my first technical [foul] ever out there, but coach beat me too it. It just got a little heated; a couple of calls were a little bit questionable. I’ve never seen him that angry. This is definitely tops it with that call against Wilson [Chandler], but it’s part of the game and you just have to deal with it and play through it.”

On George Karl standing up for his players:
“It makes you feel good; it’s good to know you have the coach behind you. You know he’s going to battle for me, that’s why I’m on the court battling for him. I probably get less calls than other point-guards, but that’s why I just lift weights and play through it.”

Nuggets forward Corey Brewer

On a great team effort:
“It was another good win, especially at home. We know they’ve [Minnesota] been playing well. It was a tough first half, but in the second half we turned it on.”

On avoiding a trap game:
“We talked about it before the game that it could be a trap game. We had to come out aggressive and we came out with a win.”

On game changing in the third quarter:
“That’s our defensive effort; just getting hands on balls and creating havoc. We needed to make good defensive plays. And I thought we played good defense. As a result, we were able to get the rebounds and run.”

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman

On what happened in the second half:
In the second half we got impatient and forced the issue. They blocked shots and turned it over and that opened up the game for them.

On if injuries is taking a toll:
We only have nine players. Our whole front line is hurt. That makes it difficult but it is what it is and you have to find a way through it.

On if there was anything encouraging:
I thought we played well in the first half. I thought we controlled the tempo. But then they got it going that second half and it was all over.

Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea

On tonight’s game:
“We’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They played with a lot of energy there in the second half. They kept coming at us. They made shots, you know, Ty Lawson made shots and it turned their way in the second half.”

On the Nuggets playing in waves:
“Oh yeah, they’re attacking, they’re running, they’re running, and they’re running and they did a good job of that.”

On Ty Lawson:
“Well he’s taking his time, you know? He’s using the pick and roll, he’s making shots, he’s fighting the help for three, knocking them down, so anytime a quick point guard like that makes shots from the outside, he’s hard to guard.”

Timberwolves forward Derrick Wiliams

On the injuries:
We kind of fell apart. It’s definitely taking its toll on us. But overall we played pretty well through three quarters but they just kept pushing ahead over and over.

On his game individually:
I started to turn it up in the third quarter. I missed a few shots but at the same time this league is not about misses and makes. It’s a long season. We have another game tomorrow and it’s going to be a better day tomorrow for all of us, not just me individually.

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Ty Lawson registered a season-high tying 32 points on 12-of-17 (.706) shooting from the field and 4-of-4 (1.000) from beyond the arc. Lawson is the first player since Dirk Nowitzki on 2/17/11 at PHX to score 30+ points while shooting at least 70% from the field while not missing a single three. It was his fourth career 30-point game, third while doing so with four-plus threes and second while shooting at least 70% from the field.

• Lawson has scored 20+ points in 19 of his last 26 and 11 of his last 13 games. He is averaging 24.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.38 steals while shooting 53.5% from the field and 41.4% from three-point range in his last 13 games.

• Additionally, Lawson has a combined 58 points on 79.3% (23-29 FG) shooting from the field and 66.7% (8-12 3FG) shooting from three in his last three second-halfs.

• Corey Brewer led the Nuggets’ bench with 15 points on 7-of-13 (.538) shooting from the field. It was Brewer’s 17th game with 15-or-more points and his 27th time leading the reserves in scoring.

• Kenneth Faried collected 11 rebounds tonight, his 33rd game of the year with 10+ rebounds. Denver is now 20-1 at home when Faried has 10-or-more boards.

• JaVale McGee blocked two shots tonight and is averaging 2.89 blocks per game over his last nine games.

• Andre Iguodala had 11 points, five rebounds, four steals and three blocks tonight. It was just the second time in his career he has had four-plus steals and three-plus blocks in the same game (11/29/09 at SAS as a member of PHI was only other time).

• Mickael Gelabale scored a season-high 19 points tonight, the second most points in his career to the 21 he had on 2/24/08 vs. LAL as a member of Seattle.

TEAM

• • The Nuggets beat the Timberwolves 111-88 and have now won 13 of their last 16 home games over the Wolves. Denver is now 25-3 when allowing fewer than 100 points this year and 10-2 when allowing fewer than 90. The 23-point loss was the largest of the season for Minnesota (three 22 point losses).

• Denver is now 28-3 at home and has won 13 straight games at Pepsi Center (longest single-season streak since winning 19 straight from 1/28/89 thru 4/20/89). They have won eight straight games overall.

• The Nuggets shot .538 (42-78 FG) from the field tonight, moving to 11-0 at home this season and winning their 45th consecutive home game when shooting 50%-or-better. They have also won 64 of their last 65 and 83 of their last 85 home games dating back to Feb. 2007 when shooting at least 50%.

• The Nuggets outscored the Timberwolves 61-39 while shooting 57.9% (22-38 FG) from the field in the second half tonight. In their last two second halfs combined, Denver is outscoring their opponent 119-82 while shooting 60.3% (44-73 FG) from the field to their opponents 38.3% (31-81 FG).

• Tonight was just the third time this season the Nuggets have shot 50+% from the field, 45+% from three and 80+% from the line in the same game, and the second straight game doing so (also did on 3/7 vs. LAC and 2/7 vs. CHI).

• Denver was 9-of-17 (.529) from beyond the arc tonight, moving to 11-2 when making nine-or-more threes.

• The Nuggets shot .818 (18-22 FG) from the free throw line are now 9-2 when shooting 80%-or-better from the line.

• Denver registered 13 steals tonight and now has 10+ steals in eight of its last nine games. They are now 24-6 when collecting 10-or-more steals.

• The Nuggets scored 26 fast break points, the seventh time in their last eight games with 20-or-more points on the break. Denver is now 12-2 when scoring 25-or-more fast break points.

• The Nuggets are now 28-5 when posting more points off turnovers than their opponents.