Inside the Game: Nuggets 122, Pacers 114 100305
Player of the Game
Scored at least 30 points for the third time in for games with 32 on 10-of-21 shooting, 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, adding four rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots.
Points in the paint:
Pacers 44, Nuggets 42
Nuggets 10, Pacers 8
Pacers 22, Nuggets 12
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 15, Nuggets 15
Pacers 77, Nuggets 74
Nuggets 48, Pacers 37
Stat of the Night
With their 42nd loss, the Pacers are assured of their fourth consecutive losing season.
The road trip concludes with another tough matchup Saturday in Phoenix against Steve Nash and the Suns (9 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
Every time the Pacers made a move, Carmelo Anthony was there to put up a roadblock. With Anthony scoring 34 points and the Nuggets getting 48 more from their bench, Denver opened a 20-point fourth quarter lead and coasted to a 122-114 victory over the Pacers before 19,155 in Pepsi Center Friday night. Danny Granger scored 32 for the Pacers, his third game of at least 30 points in the last four.
The Pacers lost their third in a row on this road trip (and 10th in 12 games) to fall to 20-42 overall, 7-26 on the road. Against Western Conference teams, they're 5-20 overall and 1-13 on the road.
The Nuggets improved to 41-21 overall and 27-5 at home (12-1 against the East).
The Pacers were much more competitive than in the first two games of the trip, both 23-point losses. Denver threatened to blow it open early with an 18-4 run (with 10 in a row from J.R. Smith) bridging the first and second periods that opened a 44-28 lead but Granger scored 12 in the second quarter, including seven in a 9-3 run to close the half that cut the deficit to 64-56 at the break.
Brandon Rush's 3-pointer cut it to 64-60 early in the third but the Pacers could get no closer. When they closed to 69-64, Anthony converted a three-point play. When they closed to 88-79, he converted another. When they had a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter to close to 108-96, Anthony converted yet another.
The Nuggets led by 17 in the closing minutes when both coaches cleared their benches and a late flurry by the Pacers made the margin deceptively close.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger was 10-of-21 from the field, 4-of-8 from the 3-point line and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line for 32 points, adding four rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Troy Murphy had 14 points and nine rebounds. Rush and Roy Hibbert scored 12 apiece. Josh McRoberts had another solid game off the bench with three dunks, 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 23 minutes.
Earl Watson had 10 points and three assists. T.J. Ford started at the point but had just seven points and four assists, though he did throw down a two-handed dunk in the third quarter. The Pacers shot .439 and were 9-of-22 (.409) from the arc. They also were 33-of-40 from the line.
Anthony was 12-of-20 overall and 9-of-10 from the line, adding six rebounds and four assists to his 34 points.
Smith scored 20 with eight assists off the bench. Chauncey Billups had 14, Nene 13 with six rebounds and five assists, Chris Anderson 13 with 10 rebounds and three blocks, and Anthony Carter 12 with seven assists and two steals. The Nuggets shot .477 and were just 6-of-25 from the arc.