The Nuggets really, really tried hard to blow another game to the Rockets with a bad fourth quarter performance but they were able to hold on and defeat Houston 123-116. Randy Foye turned into a human fireball with 30 points, including a 22 points third quarter to secure their 11th straight record with a winning record in Denver.
Grades are below the jump.
|Kenneth Faried, PF 26 MIN | 11-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 23 PTS | 0
Faried once again went over 20 points thanks to a bunch of dunks, transition layups and right handed hooks from the post. He made a few bad decisions when trying to lead the break and struggled here and there on defense but for the most part was a positive.
|Quincy Miller, SF 40 MIN | 4-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 4 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | +11
The shooting was rough and early on so was the defense but after a stern talking too Miller fought over screens and made an impact without scoring. It was nice growth from a young player.
|Timofey Mozgov, C 25 MIN | 9-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | +13
Mozgov and Faried dominated the early part of the game with energy and activity giving the Nuggets and early lead they never relinquished and tonight he even kept Omer Asik off the glass for the most part.
|Aaron Brooks, PG 37 MIN | 5-15 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 13 PTS | -2
Brooks had his moments tonight. He hit a tough couple of running layups in the lane and made some nice passes to keep Denver runs going but he also forced a few too many shots, especially with Randy Foye so hot in the second half and the bigs playing so well early.
|Randy Foye, SG 38 MIN | 10-17 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 15 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 30 PTS | +28
The fact that we were in a Randy Foye 30/20 watch, even only jokingly, kind of says all you need to know about tonight’s game.
|Darrell Arthur, PF 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +7
While Faried struggled a bit defensively with the Rockets mobile stretch fours Arthur was right at home and made life difficult for them. He is such a valuable piece of a good team, which Denver hopes to be next season.
|Jan Vesely, PF 23 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | -6
Airwolf doesn’t have a large amount of basketball skills but he has great athleticism, long limbs to flail and the ability to be really tall. I’m not sure if it is on purpose or accident but he is active defensively and can make random contributions if his minutes are kept low. I could understand Denver bringing him back for the veteran minimum.
|Anthony Randolph, SF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | -5
The Nuggets had just nine healthy players tonight and yet Randolph was only able to get five minutes on the floor. In those five minutes he missed two contested jumpers, fouled once and turned the ball over once. This has to be his last NBA stop.
|Evan Fournier, SG 27 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -11
He made his open shots and attacked a closeout nicely tonight but the inability to let Fournier get even token minutes as the primary ball handler and creator for the bench unit (his turnover percentage for the year is higher than his assist percentage 15.0 to 11.8) really limits his ceiling to a three and d guy.
He won a game against a playoff team with 9 active players and didn’t play Anthony Randolph much. Sounds good to me.
Two Things We Saw
- I mentioned it on Twitter during the game (and before the explosion) but I don’t really get the hatred for Randy Foye. There are criticisms he is a ball stopper despite Foye having a usage rate lower than anyone on the roster that isn’t Airwolf, Quincy Miller, or Darrell Arthur. Despite the low usage rate Foye is second on the team in assists and has the highest assist percentage of any non-point guard on the Denver roster. He has a higher true shooting percentage than anyone on the roster besides Kenneth Faried, the lowest turnover percentage of all guards and a defensive rating equal to Evan Fournier all while playing the most minutes of any Nugget this season. Foye has literally done anything Denver has asked and been completely professional about it. Are there better shooting guards in the league? Yes. Are there better ones on the Denver roster? No.
- This season may not have gone the way Denver wanted it too but having a winning record at home with all the injuries that have happened this season is impressive. The streak of 11 straight years of winning records at home is something the franchise should be proud of.
Next up: Thursday, April 10th @ Golden State, 8:30 p.m. MST. Going to the game? Save money and get cheap Denver Nuggets tickets here.
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