Nuggets Get a Bit Banged Up, Fall to Pelicans


The Denver Nuggets playing the New Orleans Pelicans saw a slow-paced, first quarter free-throw battle turn into a proverbial shoot out. Unfortunately for this Nuggets team that struggles in the half court, they came up short Sunday night, losing 130-125.

The Nuggets, now 11-16, kept pace with the 7-19 Pelicans and even went into halftime with the lead. However, early in the third quarter Gallinari tweaked his ankle and did not return. Commentators were told it was just an ankle sprain that simply needed to be re-taped, but we did not see the wing man return. No update was given on why he did come back into the game.

More bad news for Denver, Gallinari was not the only Nugget to leave early. In the first half, power forward Darrell Arthur left with a knee sprain.

The Pelicans saw their own star Anthony Davis, leave a game leave against the Nuggets early for the second straight time, as he battled flu-like symptoms. Still, in only 20 minutes of action, the perennial MVP candidate gave New Orleans 27 points on 9-13 shooting from the field.

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While on the floor, Gallinari played well with 18 points including 11-12 from the free throw line and 1-2 from beyond the arc. When he went down, Will Barton heated up going on to score 32 points and go 7-11 from the 3-point range.

The turning point in the game came on an 8-0 Pelican run as the game went under five minutes to play. While the Nuggets fought to keep it close, Davis returned and had a crucial role.

Davis had four key blocks on the Nuggets, who struggled with assisted baskets, and saw had their pull-up shot attempts rejected.

For the Nuggets, this game hurts not only because of the injuries, but also as the team came into the night just one game out of eighth place in the west. The Nuggets will look to bounce back quickly to stay in the playoff chase as they stay at home to play the rival Lakers Tuesday night.