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Faried's 34 points, 13 rebounds lead Nuggets past Pelicans

By The Associated Press

Posted April 2, 2014 22:43

DENVER (AP) -- Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 34 points and added 13 rebounds to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 137-107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

The Nuggets raced out to a 40-26 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back, making 15 of 27 3-pointers compared to 2 of 9 for New Orleans. The 137 points tied the Nuggets' season high.

The Pelicans also had no answers inside for Faried, who went unchecked numerous times for backdoor dunks and easy short jumpers in surpassing his previous career best, 32 points against the Lakers on March 7.

Tyreke Evans scored 27 points for New Orleans, which was without All-Star forward Anthony Davis in the second half because of back spasms. He finished with six points and three rebounds.

Nuggets reserve Aaron Brooks had 24 points, going 6 of 8 from beyond the arc.

The victory moved the Nuggets ahead of the Pelicans for 11th place in the Western Conference and gave them a split of the four-game season series.

The Pelicans trailed 71-53 at halftime and the 71 points were the most they allowed in the first half this season. The previous high was 64 points twice.

Denver led 105-81 after three quarters and cruised to the victory from there.

The Nuggets led in assists (34-21) and blocks (12-7) and committed fewer turnovers (11-16). The Pelicans held a 42-40 rebounding edge.

NOTES: Nuggets F Wilson Chandler missed his sixth straight game with a left groin strain. ... Pelicans G Eric Gordon missed his seventh consecutive game with tendinitis in his left knee. ... The Nuggets tied their season high with 12 blocks. . The Nuggets' 15 3-pointers tied their season high.


STAR OF THE GAME

Kenneth Faried

Points 34 14-19 FG, 6-8 FT
Rebounds 13, 2 OFF 11 DEF
Assists 2
Steals 0
Blocks 3
GAME LEADERS
Points Kenneth Faried 34
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 13
Assists Ty Lawson 12
Steals Four with 4
Blocks Jeff Withey
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried on sensing he might have a big night against New Orleans

"When I had two fouls and sat down, I saw that I had nine points already and I hadn’t even played that much. I thought, 'This might be a career game for me.' "

KEY MOMENT

Nuggets get hot, pull away early

Leading by a point early in the first quarter, the Nuggets made eight straight shots as part of a 21-10 run. Remarkably, Denver led by double-figures for the game's final 39:23.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“Well it’s finally nice to be on this side of the game like that for a change. I thought we did a pretty good job all the way around in terms of our pace [and] sharing the ball. We had 34 assists – that’s probably the stat that I’m most impressed with… But I just thought all around our guys looked like a cohesive unit tonight.”

On Kenneth’s constant improvement:
“He’s relaxed. As he’s admitted since the trade deadline passed by, he’s been able to just kind of play his game. We’ve given him the green light to rebound and push the ball. Most of the time he makes good decisions at the end of it, whether he’s throwing lobs to his teammates or going all the way to the basket. He’s giving us that energy that we need so it’s great to see. He’s a young player and for him to finish the season strong the way he is right now will definitely carry over into his summer when he goes to play with the U.S. team and try and make that team and hopefully into our season next year and start out like he’s ending this season.”

On finally being on the other side of a blowout game:
“We’ve been on the other side of these games more than we’ve been on this side of it. So to finally have a game where everyone can play, everybody can contribute and have a positive showing is great for us.”

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

On if that was the most fun he’s had on the basketball court in a while:
“Yeah, it is honestly, and that’s what I love to do just have fun, play basketball and when it’s that exciting and that much fun you don’t have any worries. You don’t think about other things, you just think about winning and enjoying the time you have with your teammates.”

On if he had a sense tonight was going to be a career night for him:
“Yeah, when I had two fouls and sat down I saw that I had nine points already and I hadn’t even played that much, I thought this might be a career game for me.”

On playing the last few games hard despite being eliminated from playoff contention:
“I don’t check out, I don’t know what check out means. We just came out, tried to enjoy it, tried to have fun—before the game we were talking and [Coach Shaw] said, ‘Hey, we have eight games left fellas lets go out here and play hard and give the fans something to cheer about.’ That’s all we really tried to do, was just go out there and do it for the fans.”

Nuggets guard Aaron Brooks

On how it felt to get a big win tonight:
“It was pretty cool. It was one of the first blowouts that we’ve had, so it was good to put the stars on the bench and let them rest for once. We did a good job on offensive rebounds, although we gave up 22 free throws in the first half, I think we did a better job of making them make shots in the second half.”

On putting up 135 points on a team that prides itself on defense:
“The big guy [Anthony Davis] wasn’t in there, so once he was out it was time to attack the rim. We got momentum, shared the ball, got a lot of assists and hit our 3s.”

Pelicans coach Monty Williams

On tonight’s performance:
“We didn’t play well to start the game. They shot the ball really well. Like I told our guys, in the month of March we set a high bar for how we can play regardless of who is on the floor. That is what we expect and they all agreed. We didn’t play well tonight and they shot the ball really well. You look at these numbers and since I have been here we haven’t given up those kinds of numbers with our defense. That is the toughest part for me, is allowing teams to score like that. Even when they are shooting the ball as well as [the Nuggets] did from the three. I thought [the Nuggets] had way too many easy points in the paint, 64 and they made 15 threes. We were not great in the paint, especially in the first half. It is a tough loss, we have to flush it and try and regroup as far as our mentality and what we have to do to play at a higher level . . . the way that we did last week.”

On guarding Kenneth Faried:
“He played with a great deal of energy tonight. It wasn’t a lot in the post. A lot of it was transition and just driving by our bigs and dunking the ball with his right hand. We talked about him being a strong right hand driver, but we didn’t do a good job on him tonight.”

On Anthony Davis’ injury:
“He had back spasms. He felt it a little bit this morning. He tried his best to get out there and play. He was great to start, but when he sat down it locked up on him and he couldn’t recover. I was close to just pulling him to start the game but he said he was good and could go. Then, when he played he looked good. When I took him out of the game after his second fo0ul, everything locked up on him. When I put him back he just couldn’t do it so we pulled the plug.”

Pelicans guard Brian Roberts:

On falling behind early:
“We didn’t do a good job from the jump. We were trading baskets and then we fell off scoring and they didn’t. You can’t play a game like that. You have to defend and not try to go back-and-forth offensively with a team. They just kept it going all four quarters.”

On Nuggets shooting performance:
“I felt like they were making shots from the jump. Like I said they just never stopped and we did. We got cold a little bit. That’s not who we are. We are a defensive team. We can’t try to win games offensively by itself. We play defense and tonight we didn’t.”

On losing Anthony Davis to back spasms:
“That hurts. We’ve been battling that kind of stuff all year so we’re kind of, I don’t want to say used to it, but we kind of are. We just had to rally and we just didn’t have enough tonight.”

Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans:

On lack of defensive pressure:
“They just ran up and down the court and did what they wanted to do. They did make some unbelievable 3s. They were on fire tonight but we have to do a better job defensively.”

On Nuggets shooting performance:
“It was one of those nights. We didn’t want it to be one of those nights but that’s how it was. We just have to focus, practice tomorrow and try to get a win in Utah.”

On Kenneth Faried’s performance:
“He has a lot of energy. That’s what he does, put pressure on the basket. We knew that coming into the game that he was going to come out aggressive and we didn’t do a good job of stopping him.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Kenneth Faried led all scorers with a career-high 34 points (14-19 FG) to go with 13 rebounds and three blocks. Faried is just the third Nugget since 1985-86, along with Carmelo Anthony and Antonio McDyess, to post 34+ points, 13+ rebounds and 3+ blocks in the same game.

• Additionally, Faried is the first player since 1985-86 to reach 34 points and 13 rebounds in under 27 minutes of play. During that time-frame, only Scottie Pippen, Alonzo Mourning and Charles Barkley accomplished this in 29-or-fewer minutes.

• Tonight was Faried’s 22nd double-double of the year and his 39th career double-double at Pepsi Center (Denver is 35-4 in those games). His 34 points was the most scored by any Nugget this season.

• Aaron Brooks scored 24 points (9-12 FG, 6-8 3FG) to go with two steals and two blocks in 30 minutes off the bench tonight. It was his eighth career-game with 6+ threes and the 61st 20-point game of his career. Tonight was the 12th time a Nugget reserve has scored 20+ points.

• Ty Lawson registered his 23rd double-double of the year with 14 points and 12 assists. Lawson was 8-of-10 (.800) from the free throw line tonight, his 11th game of the year with 10+ free throw attempts (Denver is 7-4 in those games).

• Tyreke Evans led New Orleans with 27 points and eight rebounds. It was his 10th career game with 27+ points and 8+ rebounds in the same game.

TEAM

• The Nuggets earned their largest regular season victory in franchise history over New Orleans (previous was a 26-point win on 3/6/90 in Denver).

• Denver has now won five straight home games and eight of the last 10 at Pepsi Center over New Orleans.

• New Orleans has now lost 19 straight road games against Northwest Division opponents.

• The Nuggets tied their season-highs with 137 points, 12 blocks, 64 points in the paint and 15 made three-pointers. They set a new season-high for field goal percentage with .565 (they are now 15-1 on the year when shooting 50%-or-better from the field).

• Tonight was the Nuggets’ second home win of 30+ points this season (won by 31 on 1/7 vs. BOS) and their most points at home since they had 138 vs. PHO on 11/28/10.

• Denver connected on 15-of-27 (.556) from beyond the arc. It was the 18th time in franchise history making 15+ threes, and they are 14-4 in those games.

• Additionally, seven different Nuggets hit a three-pointer tonight, the second time this season they have accomplished this (also had seven make a three in a win on 1/7 vs. BOS).

• Denver scored 30+ points in every quarter for the second time this season (also did so on 1/26/14 at SAC). They also made 10+ field goals and shot at least 50% in every quarter tonight.

• The Nuggets handed out 34 assists and have won 23 straight games and 43 of their last 45 when registering 34+ assists (dating back to Jan. 1993).

• The Nuggets led by 10+ points for the final 39:23 minutes of tonight’s game.