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Fournier, Miller continue path of improvement for Nuggets

Denver duo combined for 45 points in OT loss to Houston

Quincy Miller and Evan Fournier were selected 18 spots apart in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

A pair of 21-year-olds provided a glimpse of their potential Sunday in Houston.

Nuggets guard Evan Fournier and forward Quincy Miller combined for 45 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in Denver’s overtime loss to the Rockets.

The outcome of the game was secondary to the continued development of two players who were selected 18 spots apart in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Fournier hit a career-best six 3-pointers and finished with 26 points, while Miller made three 3s en route to a career-high 19 points. They combined to go 17-of-30 from the field – 9-for-15 from behind the arc.

Miller also set a career-high with four blocked shots.

Fournier’s performance was the latest highlight in a season defined by improvement. Even before the Nuggets ran into injury problems, he earned a spot in Brian Shaw’s playing rotation as a reliable wing with a solid shooting touch.

Miller has endured peaks and valleys as he continues to learn the nuances of becoming an everyday contributor. He has played 20 minutes or more just 12 times this season, with five of those games coming in the past two weeks.

As a 6-foot-10 wing, Miller can rebound, run, handle the ball and stretch the floor. Like many young players, both he and Fournier still need work at both ends of the floor, but Shaw and his coaching staff have been pleased with their progress.

“The development in-season is more (related to) being able to perform and come through when the ball comes your way,” Shaw said. “Are you ready to shoot and knock down the shot? You have to get reps to be able to do that. I’ve definitely seen improvement in various areas from Evan, Quincy and different guys on the team.”