Denver Nuggets-Utah Jazz Gameday

by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

Faried's 20-20 performance leads Nuggets past Jazz

By The Associated Press

Posted April 12, 2014 23:27

DENVER (AP) -- Kenneth Faried joined the 20/20 club just 48 hours after sinking his first winning basket.

Faried scored 24 points and pulled down 21 rebounds Saturday night in the short-handed Denver Nuggets' 101-94 come-from-behind win over the Utah Jazz.

Faried was coming off an 18-point, 17-rebound performance at Golden State on Thursday night that would have been overshadowed by Timofey Mozgov's 23-point, 29-board performance were it not for coach Brian Shaw diagramming the last-second shot for him - another first.

So, what's next for Faired?

''Maybe stepping out behind the 3-point line and shooting a 3,'' Shaw suggested.

Faried likes to share the spotlight, so he's thinking more along the line of what he and Mozgov can do for an encore.

Suddenly, anything seems possible for these Nuggets, who are headed for the NBA lottery instead of the playoffs for the first time in a decade but are somehow playing well despite a depleted roster.

On this night, they lost Anthony Randolph to the paternity ward before tip-off and fellow forward Darrell Arthur to a strained left knee in the first quarter. He was unable to jump and took a seat after logging just two minutes.

Luckily, forward Wilson Chandler returned to action for Denver after missing 10 games with a strained left groin. He scored nine points in 21 minutes.

After a slow start - the Nuggets scored a season-low 34 points in the first half - Faried took over, Randy Foye scored 26 points and Evan Fournier added 23 as Denver sent Utah to its fourth straight loss and evened the season series with their rivals at two games each.

''We told the team at halftime just to flush that half down the drain,'' Shaw said.

Foye's 3-pointer with 6:54 left gave Denver its first lead of the night at 77-76, and the Nuggets wouldn't trail again.

Seconds later, Fournier made the most unlikely of baskets. He was driving in to the lane when he got tripped and let go of the ball as he fell backward into the paint. The ball fluttered through the net just as he hit the floor, and his subsequent free throw put Denver on top 80-76.

Foye and Fournier teamed up for back-to-back 3s that gave the Nuggets a 90-82 lead with three minutes left.

''We've just got to stay with it,'' Utah guard Trey Burke said. ''I feel we really had an opportunity to win this game. Foye got hot tonight, so did Faried. He did a great job of rebounding and giving them second opportunities. You can't give a good team like that to get as many second opportunities as they did in the second half.''

Gordon Hayward led Utah with 23 points, and Enes Kanter added 22 points and 14 rebounds.

The teams combined to go 0-for-15 from 3-point range in the first half in a display befitting two teams headed for the NBA draft lottery this summer instead of their usual playoff perch. Denver, however, hit seven 3s after halftime, including three by Foye.

Mozgov had another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Nuggets won their third straight.

''I'm proud of them and the way they're finishing up this season,'' Shaw said. ''I think this is exactly what we wanted to see ending up the season to carry over into next season, win or lose, the kind of effort it's going to take and the togetherness we're going to need to be successful.''

NOTES: Utah F Marvin Williams missed his second straight game with a bruised left knee. ... The Nuggets said Arthur was day to day. ... Nuggets PG Ty Lawson missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle.

STAR OF THE GAME

Kenneth Faried

Points 24 11-19 FG, 2-3 FT
Rebounds 21, 6 OFF 15 DEF
Assists 5
Steals 0
Blocks 0

GAME LEADERS

Points Randy Foye 26
Rebounds Kenneth Faried 21
Assists Trey Burke 8
Steals Derrick Favors 4
Blocks Three players with 2

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Nuggets guard Evan Fournier on his circus shot in the fourth quarter

Rockets

"I just threw it in air. I don’t know what happened, man, honestly. Yeah, I think (Alec) Burks fouled me, so I just tried it and the ball fell in the basket. I was surprised. I think the fans liked it, so it was cool."

KEY MOMENT

Foye second-chance 3-pointer sparks fourth-quarter surge

Trailing by three points with 8:17 remaining, the Nuggets secured a jump ball and Randy Foye hit a game-tying 3 after grabbing his own offensive rebound. The play sparked a 9-2 Denver run that seemed to take the life out of the Jazz.

VIDEO RECAP

Postgame Quotes

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw

On tonight’s game:
“Well, tonight’s game was definitely a tale of two halves. For us to score 34 [points] in the first half all together and have a 30 point third quarter and [a] 37-point fourth quarter, we told the team at halftime just to flush that first half down the drain and that our defense was good enough to keep us within striking distance and that our offense would come and that last night’s game that they played would hopefully catch up with them … We had come back from bigger deficits [and] I expected them to do the same thing tonight.”

On how proud he is of the team effort:
“I can’t describe enough how proud I am of them playing the way they are with the type of passion that they’re playing [with]. Even with these games where we haven’t played well and we’ve dug a big hole for ourselves, but we continue to fight, continue to believe, continue to play for one another and as a coach, that’s all you can ask. I’m very happy about that – win or lose. I think that this is exactly what we wanted to see ending the season carrying over in to next season.”

On Wilson Chandler:
“I thought he was pretty good. He’s been out for a while … I can’t remember the last time I saw him in uniform and he hasn’t practiced at all. It’s funny how the timing works out with Darrell [Arthur] going out, Anthony [Randolph] not being available [and] Quincy [Miller] getting in foul trouble. I didn’t know that he had planned on playing or was going to be available to play right before the game tonight when I spoke to you guys before the game. I figured he’d be winded, and he was. There were a few new plays that we had put in that he wasn’t familiar with, but he winged it and I thought he looked pretty good.”

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

On waiting a long time to get his first 20-point/20-rebound game:
“Since I got here, yeah—I was finally able to get it. I played a lot of minutes tonight, but I just kept fighting. I don’t care about the scoring; it was the rebounding more than anything. I hadn’t gotten 20 rebounds this year at all, but I finally got it.”

On head coach Brian Shaw saying he is trying to give him more responsibility and new opportunities:
“It just is opening a lot of people’s eyes. It basically is here Kenneth, this is your team, here is the ball do what you have to do to bring us to victory. It’s an honor to be bestowed upon and I’m ecstatic about it.”

On how difficult it is to grab 20 rebounds in a game:
“It’s actually extremely hard. You have to assume every shot is a miss, keep going and then you have guys trying to get rebounds too—hitting you or pushing you under the rim, you have to box them out. Then you don’t know if a teammate is going to come and swoop in and get a rebound, so it’s actually tough—it’s not an easy task.”

Nuggets guard Evan Fournier

On his circus shot:
“It was [fun]—I don’t know what happened. It was funny though because I knew the ball was in, but I just threw it in air. I don’t know what happened, man—honestly. Yeah, I think [Alec] Burks fouled me, so I just tried it and the ball fell in the basket. I was surprised, but that was fun and I think the fans liked it, so it was cool.”

On turning it around at halftime to rally and get the win over the Jazz:
“We came out flat. We only played with eight players. We have so many injuries, I think we got tired a little bit especially because we’re back in Denver, but we’re fighters so we just kept fighting and we stepped up and played harder.”

On the apparent chemistry developing between the team:
“We have nothing to lose, so we just play loose and free and it seems like we have more confidence. It’s fun to play [this way]. Coach said we are starting our training camp right now, so that’s nice—finish strong and I’m pretty happy about where we are right now.”

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin

On what went wrong in the fourth quarter:
“They made shots, we didn’t. They made shots at crucial times and we made a couple of rotation mistakes. They made the plays down the stretch and we couldn’t.”

On playing with a young lineup:
“They’re getting better as they get used to each other on the floor. Understanding time and floor situations, understanding when to foul and when not to foul and taking advantage of second shot opportunities rebounding wise. They have to grow through it, a lot of young guys trying to finish the game off and making mistakes you can’t make – a couple fouls way away from the basket, those things cost you. But, I can’t question guys’ effort, they’re trying hard, we’re just making mistakes that cost us ball games down the stretch.”

Nuggets guard Trey Burke:

On what caused the loss:

“We just have to stay with it. I felt like we really had an opportunity to win this game tonight. [Randy] Foye got hot tonight, so did [Kenneth] Faried. He did a great job rebounding and giving them second chance opportunities. We can’t allow a team like that to get as many second opportunities as they did in the second half.”

On if the altitude affected the team’s fatigue:
“A little bit. I don’t think it affected us though. I think coming off the bench I kind of got cold. With the altitude being a little higher here, we felt it a little out there. I don’t think it affected it. I just think we were a step slower in the third and fourth quarters and allowed them to go on a run.”

On season overall:
“This year obviously hasn’t been the best year for any of us, the amount of losses that we experienced. I think the future is bright. We’ve showed flashes of what can be. We’re competing in every single game. It’s not like we’re out there for 48 minutes not competing. I just think they wanted it more at the end.”

Nuggets center Enes Kanter:

On if fatigue caused the loss:

“Well of course we were tired but it can’t be an excuse. I think the first three quarters we played pretty hard. There’s nothing about it. We played hard and they made some shots.”

On Kenneth Faried’s performance:
“I think he played hard and he scored and got some rebounds. I mean he is a good player what can I say.”

POSTGAME NOTES

INDIVIDUAL

• Kenneth Faried registered 24 points to go with a career-high 21 rebounds and five assists. It was the first 20-point/20-rebound game of his career. Faried is averaging 21.0 points and 19.0 rebounds over his last two contests.

• Additionally, tonight was Faried’s 26th double-double of the year and 69th of his career (Denver is 52-17 in those games). It was Faried’s 40th career double-double at Pepsi Center, with the Nuggets going 36-4 in those games.

• Randy Foye posted 26 points (3-4 3FG), four rebounds and six assists. It was the sixth time in his career reaching those numbers and the second time in the past week (also did so on 4/9).

• Foye was 9-of-9 (1.000) from the charity stripe tonight, the first time this season a Nugget has not missed a free throw when attempting at least nine.

• Evan Fournier had 23 points, three rebounds and two assists tonight. It was his fifth career 20-point game, with four of those coming this season (and two within the last four games).

• Timofey Mozgov recorded 11 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. It was the 11th double-double of his career (ninth of the year), and just the second time he has done so in consecutive games.

• Enes Kanter had 22 points and 14 boards for Utah. It was the fourth game of his career with at least 22 points and 14 boards.

TEAM

• With tonight’s win, Denver extends its winning streak to three games. It is their longest win streak since they won five in a row from Jan. 3–11.

• The Nuggets have now won nine of their last 12 home games over Utah. Additionally, they have won eight of their last 10 overall home games.

• Denver is now 9-2 this year and 55-10 since 2009-10 when facing a team at home on the second game of a back-to-back set.

• Tonight was the 13th time this season the Nuggets have come back to win after trailing by 10-or-more points.

• The Nuggets were just 1-of-13 (.076) from beyond the arc through three quarters, but shot 6-of-9 (.667) from deep in the fourth.

• Denver scored just 34 points in the first half compared to 67 points in the second half (37 in the fourth alone). Their +33 point differential in the second half compared to the first is the largest half differential since 1/31/04 at DAL (37 in first half, 70 in second).

• Kenneth Faried registered a 20-point/20-rebound game just one game after Timofey Mozgov had 23 points and 29 boards at GSW on 4/10. It was the first time in Nuggets NBA history to have consecutive 20-20 games.

• Additionally, this is just the second time in Nuggets NBA franchise history that two different players have registered 20-point/20-rebound games in the same season (the other season was 2000-01 when Raef LaFrentz and Antonio McDyess both had 20-20 games).

• The Nuggets had three players score 20+ points tonight, moving to 9-1 over the last three seasons when three players score 20-or-more.

• Denver outrebounded Utah 52-39 tonight and they are now 13-2 this season when outrebounding their opponent by 10-or-more.

• The Nuggets are now 17-6 (9-3 at home) when holding their opponent to under 100 points.