|Danilo Gallinari, SF 35 MIN | 9-21 FG | 7-8 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 28 PTS | +10
This was by far Gallo’s best game of the year. Efficiency — throw it out the window. Points — I don’t even care. The bottom line with Gallo’s performance was that he hit shots at every crucial corner of the game. Whenever the Nuggets needed a basket, he was there to deliver. Often times this came in the most unlikely of scenarios (i.e., with a hand in his face). If it wasn’t for his clutch shooting tonight, the Nuggets win this game.
|Kenneth Faried, SF 29 MIN | 6-11 FG | 7-9 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | +3F
Faried was a monster for most of the game. His defense against taller power forwards like Tim Duncan will always be questionable but his heart is not. Anytime you can get a near 20-10 performance from your power forward you are in good shape.
|Kosta Koufos, C 31 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +2
Again, this was one of the better performances we’ve seen from Koufos this season. In fact, given the circumstances, I’d say this was his best. Fourteen rebounds and four blocks is unheard of for a guy who’s just establishing himself as a starter in the NBA. His defense on Tim Duncan was flat out studly. I cannot say enough about that aspect of his game this evening.
|Ty Lawson, PG 38 MIN | 4-15 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 12 PTS | -2
Ty wasn’t especially potent but he did a great job of emphasizing the speed at which the Nuggets needed to play. He also had a few great steals that led to easy, momentum-swinging baskets.
|Andre Iguodala, SG 37 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 6 AST | 14 PTS | +9
Another fantastic performance. I think you could argue this was Iguodala’s best of the year given what was at stake. He was a totally different person against the Spurs. He was fierce. He was on the prowl. He wasn’t messing around. He really appeared to be on a mission to show what he could do in George Karl’s fast-pace offense. Let’s just hope he’s finally adapting to the speed at which the Nuggets play.
|Corey Brewer, SF 29 MIN | 6-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 16 PTS | +2
Brewer was a total spark plug, as usual. He did exactly what the Nuggets needed him to do: hit big outside 3-pointers and play lock-down defense.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 PTS | +4
Mozgov had a short stint but he wasn’t too shabby. Anytime he can log six points in six minutes, it’s a good outing.
|JaVale McGee, C 11 MIN | 3-6 FG | 4-10 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -1
What an interesting night for the talented 7-footer. The Spurs tried to play Hack-A-JaVale late in the game, and although he missed most of his free throws, it was a strategy that didn’t really pay off. McGee didn’t log a lot of minutes but had one of the most efficient performances of anybody on the floor.
|Andre Miller, PG 23 MIN | 2-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 8 PTS | +3
We’ve had our quibbles with Miller as of late, but he was solid against the Spurs. He simply has a different style of game. It doesn’t always fit with what the Nuggets are trying to do but when the team is rolling he seems to fit in quite well.
One Thing We Saw
- Bright Side of the Road: I went to the game tonight. It was one of the best I’ve been to in a few years. The Nuggets haven’t been the model of consistency this year, nor have they been the model of fortitude — but it’s game like these that make you proud to be a fan. Just look at the grades. All that happened before this game does not matter. Each time you step on to the court you have a chance of putting up a “W.” On Tuesday night, the Nuggets epitomized this mindset. They haven’t played the most favorable schedule to date, but as fans we must give them credit for showing up at home and taking care of business. We all wish they were a better road team — but under George Karl that is just not who they chose to be (unfortunately). It’s frustrating. It’s tough to swallow. But no matter how you slice it, there aren’t many teams out there that beat the Spurs in this type of fashion. For that, we must give credit where it’s due. After playing one of the most difficult schedules to kick of the season in NBA history, the Nuggets sit at a very respectable 14-12. Though it’s been a tough road to travel thus far, the future looks bright. As fans, for our health, that’s what we must focus on.
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