Sometimes it is better to be luckier than good and the Denver Nuggets were that Tuesday night.
The Nuggets caught numerous breaks in the fourth quarter and overtime.
- With the Nuggets down by two, Corey Brewer forced a Jannero Pargo turnover with nine seconds left.
- Danilo Gallinari hit an off-balance 3-pointer to put the Nuggets up by one with three seconds left.
- Kirk Hinrich, an 81 percent free throw shooter, drew a foul with a second left in regulation but only made 1 of 2 free throws.
- In overtime, Nene, who is a .67 percent free throws shooter, hit a pair of free throws to put the Nuggets up by one with 26 seconds left in OT.
- Zaza Pachulia missed a wide-open layup as time expired to help the Nuggets improve to 24-19.
It wasn’t that the Nuggets didn’t play bad, it’s that they aren’t used to playing together. Tuesday was the first time since January the entire Denver squad was healthy.
- Gallinari had his best game since returning from injury. He finished the game with 19 points and is starting to show signs of health.
- Nene also played his best game since returning, he scored 22 points and hit all six of his free throws. He also had five assists and had a big block in the fourth quarter. He did get burned by Josh Smith at the end of the fourth quarter, but that may have been Smith’s best move of his career.
- Rudy Fernandez returned after missing the previous 10 games and definitely gave the Nuggets an added energy.
- Brewer was once again huge for Denver with his hustle and energy. He ran the floor, moved well without the ball and never gave up. He forced Pargo’s turnover in the fourth to give the Nuggets a chance.
- Al Harrington is starting to get back in the groove and has really provided veteran leadership down the stretch. He is averaging nearly 18 points and eight rebounds over the past five games.
- Ty Lawson had a quiet 21 points. He did hit four treys, but was not as aggressive as the Nuggets would like.
With the win the Nuggets have moved into sole possession of sixth place in the West, moving a half-a-game ahead of Dallas Mavericks – who the Nuggets face on Monday. Before that game Denver hosts Oklahoma City on Thursday and Boston on Saturday.
Topics: Al Harrington, Atlanta Hawks, Corey Brewer, Dallas Mavericks, Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets, Jannero Pargo, Josh Smith, Kenneth Faried, Kirk Hinrich, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rudy Fernandez, Ty Lawson, Zaza Pachulia