What the Nuggets are Saying Following Game Against Rockets

WHAT THEY SAID:

Nuggets coach Michael Malone on the game: “We missed 11 free throws, so that’s big right there. And we missed 18 layups tonight, so we could have easily won the game if we made our free throws and finished around the basket. James Harden is going to get his points in the way we were guarding him. Once again, proud of our effort, we did a lot of good things. Clean up the undisciplined errors we made and hopefully we will get a different result when we play them down in Houston.”

Malone on Houston’s scoring run in the third quarter: “That’s the story, 29-18 in that quarter. We tied the first quarter, then outscored them in the second and the fourth but that run that they went on…obviously Nikola (Jokic) gets into foul trouble but that’s tough enough. When you couple that with no Wilson Chandler and no (Danilo Gallinari), no Darrell Arthur, it makes it even more difficult even with the run they went on. We kept on fighting back, we kept on giving ourselves a chance and that’s what I liked about our team tonight.”

Nuggets guard Gary Harris on defending James Harden: “He’s in the race for MVP for a reason. Those guys you aren’t going to stop. You just have to make it as difficult as possible.”

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic on his team’s near comeback in the fourth quarter: “They made some shots, we didn’t. We were down three with a minute to go. Will Barton missed a 3-pointer. That was the play. Next time he would shoot that again but he missed it then they scored. We didn’t make shots down the stretch and that’s it.”

NOTES:

- The Rockets won the game despite outscoring the Nuggets in just one quarter – the third, which they won 29-18.

- Jameer Nelson had a near triple double of 15 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. It was just the fifth time in his career that he reached at least those numbers in the same game. Nelson has started 33 games this season, his most in a single season since starting 68 games with the Magic in 2013-14. As a starter, Nelson is averaging 11.1 points, 5.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds this season. He’s shooting 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from the 3-point line in his starts.

- The Rockets’ 60 points in the paint was the most the Nuggets have yielded in a game since Feb. 3 at Milwaukee.

- Juancho Hernangomez scored 15 points against the Rockets. It was his fifth game of the season with 10 or more points. He got the start against Houston, his seventh start of the season. Hernangomez is averaging 11.1 points and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 47 percent from the field in his starts.

- The Nuggets had seven players in double-figure scoring against the Rockets. It was the third straight game they’ve had at least that many players in double figures.