The Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers played a sprited game at the Pepsi Center Last Night that was a back and forth affair the entire night. The Nuggets got the last word on the evening as Randy Foye knocked down a 26 foot 3 pointer as the buzzer sounded and the Nuggets danced their way off the court with a 116-115 victory over the streaking Clippers. The need for Foye’s heroics was made courtesy of Nuggets Nemesis, Rick Barnes of the Clippers who nailed a 3 from the right side off of a pass from Point Guard J.J. Reddick with 6.2 seconds left on the clock.
The Nuggets immediately called timeout and Coach Brian Shaw drew up a play that according to Foye, Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson, is one the Nuggets use regularly on “Side-out-of-bounds” plays at half court. The play was designed to get Ty Lawson the ball off of a pick from Wilson Chandler with Chandler crashing the rim for a back door pass. Chandler made the pick but Lawson could not get loose. Chandler crashed the rim and was open going towards the basket but J.J. Hickson who had taken a pass from Faried didn’t make the pass to Chandler for the tying layup. Instead, Randy Foye curled from the weakside corner to the top of the key, received the ball on a hand-off from Hickson, rose up, and over the outstretched arm of Blake Griffin, launched the ball toward the basket. The ball left Foye’s hand with 1.1 seconds left on the clock and swished through the goal just as the redlight came on and the buzzer sounded. Foye fell backwards onto the floor with his arms raised and was mobbed by Kenneth Faried and most of his Nuggets teammates.
Ty Lawson jumped up on the scorers table and insighted the crowd which was in a frenzy after the shot went through the net. With the drama of the finish, coupled with the quality of the opponent, this was the best win of the year for the Nuggets and can be a catalyst to a winning streak if the Nuggs can harness the energy they showed in this game going forward. There were plenty of Nuggets players who contributed to this win including Faried, who ended the night with a career high 28 points to go along with 11 rebounds, many on the offensive glass.
Thanks to Faried and J.J. Hickson, the Nuggets outscored the Clippers on second chance points 24-8 on the game and kept the Clippers big men, Blake Griffin and DeAndrea Jordan, mostly in check on the boards all night long. Ty Lawson returned after missing 4 games with a shoulder injury and put in a long nights work, playing 45 minutes and scoring 27 points of his own. The Nuggs made 16 out of 18 Free Throws in the 4th quarter to help them keep the Clippers from pulling away and then Foye showed why the Nuggets picked him up in the off-season. He turned into a Stone Cold Assassin with that huge game-winning “3” and sent the Clippers out of the Pepsi Center shaking their heads at one that got away. Hopefully the momentum gained by winning in this fashion will propel the Nuggets to a winning streak starting with the last game of the current 4 game homestand on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks at Pepsi Center. Game time is 7:00 P.M. Don’t forget to follow your Denver Nuggets on Twitter @Nugglove.