Denver Falls at Philly, Losing Streak At 3
The second quarter was the death knell for the Denver Nuggets.
They were outscored by a total of 32 points in the second in its previous two matchups, losses at Detroit and Brooklyn. Friday, in 117-110 loss against the Philadelphia 76ers, it was nearly their saving grace.
After trailing by as many as 16, Denver went on a 20-4 run the last 4:51 of the second quarter to knot the contest at 56 at the half before folding late to end its road trip a disappointing 1-3.
“To win a close game against a quality opponent on the road, you need your fourth-quarter defense to be great, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Our was not. But I definitely liked our guys’ fight, energy, competitive spirit tonight compared to the last two games.”
Philadelphia’s starting lineup included All-Stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, as well as former All-NBA choice Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris - the Los Angeles Clippers’ leading scorer before making his way to the City of Brotherly Love via trade earlier this week. However, it was shooting guard J.J. Redick who torched the Nuggets all night. The veteran out of Duke led all scorers with 34 points on 11-for-15 shooting, including six 3-pointers.
Embiid, who was a bit under the weather, still posted a double, scoring 15 points while adding 12 rebounds. Simmons (12), Butler (22), Harris (14) all gave solid contributions too.
“You definitely have to give them credit. That’s a talented team and as they get the guys acclimated that they just acquired, they’re gonna be even more dangerous.”
All-Star center Nikola Jokić led the way offensively for Denver, recording his 11th triple-double of the season with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. In just his second game since missing six straight with a sprained ankle, Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray put up 23 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Will Barton (14), Trey Lyles (13) and Mason Plumlee also finished in double-figures in scoring.
Denver shot just 6 of 23 from 3-point range and the 76ers shot 19 more free throws than the Nuggets.
The Nuggets return home Monday when they will face the Miami Heat at 7 p.m. MT. The game will be aired live on Altitude TV and streamed AltitudeNOW.