Redemption time arrives for Nuggets as Pacers come to town
It was sometime around 8:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 9, 2010, when the planets began to align for the Indiana Pacers.
Starting with Danny Granger’s 20-foot jumper 10 seconds into the third quarter, the Pacers put together one of the most prolific 12-minute shooting performances in NBA history.
They hit midrange jumpers, knocked down three-point shots and scored on the interior.
When Josh McRoberts finally missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, it ended a streak of 20 consecutive field goals by Indiana. The Pacers finished with 54 points in the quarter and cruised to a 31-point win over the Nuggets.
“I’ve never seen a team make every shot,” Denver coach George Karl said after practice Saturday. “If you give them those 25 shots with nobody on them, they’re not going make every shot. They were kind of in a stage where they had to start playing well and they did. It was tough.”
The opportunity for redemption arrives Sunday when the Nuggets conclude a three-game homestand against the Pacers at the Pepsi Center.
After facing Indiana game, the Nuggets (24-18) will go on the road for an East Coast trip that will feature five games in seven days. Denver has lost six of its past seven road games and is 5-13 overall all away from home.
“As I told a few of the guys today, this is going to be an important stretch for us to solidify to everybody that we’re a playoff team and we’re going to figure this out,” Karl said. “Whatever happens, we’re going to fight together and believe we’re going to figure it out.”
TRIPLE-A: After going 0-for-6 from three-point range in his two previous games, Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo hit 5-of-7 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, vaulting him up the NBA rankings from long range.
Afflalo raised his three-point percentage from .417 to .432, which is good for 12th in the NBA.
The Los Angeles native would love to compete in The Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout at the Staples Center during NBA All-Star Weekend. Afflalo has the sixth-best three-point percentage among players who have made at least 60 three-pointers this season.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant might give Afflalo an endorsement. Bryant sought out Afflalo after Friday night’s game to tell him to keep up the good work; that followed a chance meeting Thursday night at Elway’s restaurant.
“He came over and spoke to me (at Elway’s). That was really nice of him,” Afflalo said. “He’s a player I looked up to growing up.”
ETC: Nuggets forward Chris Andersen did not participate in the team’s practice/shootaround Saturday and is not expected to play Sunday. He has missed the past five games while trying to regain strength in his lower back and surgically repaired right knee … Nuggets center Nene went 3-for-7 from the field Friday, ending his streak of 22 consecutive games shooting .500 or better … Sunday is the final day for All-Star voting. Denver forward Carmelo Anthony was second among Western Conference forwards in the most recent ballot returns,while center Nene and point guard Chauncey Billups were trying to move up the ranks at their respective positions.