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Nuggets Fall At Houston, Five-Game Win Streak Snapped
The Denver Nuggets watched their five-game win streak snapped, suffering a 125-113 defeat on the road against the Houston Rockets Monday night.
The Nuggets trailed by six on a layup by reserve big man Mason Plumlee with 10:02 remaining, but they never got any closer as the combination of reigning league MVP guard James Harden and center Clint Capela proved too much to handle.
Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer, put up 32 points, on 7-18 shooting from the field, including 6-15 from 3-point range, while going 12-15 from the free-throw line, another statistic he leads the league in. The 6-6, 220-pound Arizona State product also dished out 14 assists and grabbed five rebounds in 40 minutes of action. Capela set a new career-high with 31 points while pulling down nine boards to help his team to its seventh win its last eight outings and move to 2-0 on the season against Denver.
“I think the only thing you can really try to do is to get the ball out of his hands,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of Harden. “I think, at times, we did it effectively. Other times, we didn’t do it as effectively as you would wish, but he’s a great player. He can score any time…He’s probably the hardest guy in the NBA to guard.”
Houston forward P.J. Tucker scored 21 points on a career-high seven 3-pointers and Gerald Green scored 21 on six 3-pointers as the Rockets sank 22 from deep compared to the Nuggets’ seven. The Rockets also knocked down 27 of 34 free throws while Denver connected on 18 of 21 from the charity stripe.
“To beat a team like Houston on their homecourt, you gotta play 48 minutes and you gotta play clean and, obviously, you have to do much better job of defending the 3.”
Nikola Jokić led the way for Denver with 24 points and 13 rebounds in 28 minutes. Reserve Monte Morris had a career-high 21 points. Gary Harris and Malik Beasley had 14 points apiece and Jamal Murray added 13.
The Nuggets travel to face the Miami Heat Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. MST. That game will be aired live on Altitude TV and streamed on AltitudeNOW.