It seemed like a month since the Denver Nuggets played a complete game, but Wednesday they were able to end the month of February on a high note.
Denver led from beginning to end, with seven players on the squad scoring in double figures, two getting a double-double and two just miss getting a double-double (Timofey Mozgov was one rebound from a double-double and Kosta Koufos was a basket from a double-double).
Kenneth Faried set the tone early, being aggressive, attacking the glass and outworking the Portland Trailblazers. Faried’s steal and windmill jam put some energy in the Nuggets, who played like the Walking Dead in February.
And Ty Lawson, who arguably is the Nuggets most important player, put the final seal on the victory. He scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and was Denver’s so-called ‘closer’. No doubt if the Nuggets want to return to early season form the pressure is on Lawson to be aggressive night-in and night-out. Much like Rajon Rondo, defenses have gone under pick-and-rolls and have made him a shooter – but he still needs to be aggressive.
- Koufos played important minutes down the stretch. He had two key blocks in the fourth and had 11 rebounds to lead the Nuggets.
- Timofey Mozgov had one of his better games, tallying 14 points and nine rebounds. He still struggled with foul trouble, but looks to be completely healthy.
- Al Harrington had it going on the offensive side of the ball. He was hitting from deep and was able to be Portland’s bigs off the dribble. However, he did turn into his chucker-mode, but still managed to grab 10 rebounds.
- Jordan Hamilton gave the Nuggets valuable minutes in the first half. He wasn’t forcing his shots, and when the Blazers switched to a zone Hamilton found an opening for a basket. He finished with 11 points.