Denver Nuggets Basketball Schedule, News, Tickets, Scores, Players, Blogs, Videos, Links and More
More Fan Site Teams:

Nuggets eliminate Pelicans from contention

Nuggets eliminate Pelicans from contention
Published On: Wed, Apr 05
Mar 31, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) knocks the ball away from New Orleans Pelicans guard Tim Frazier (2) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans won 101-95. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

NEW ORLEANS -- Denver coach Michael Malone saw his team being left for dead after the Nuggets had lost five of seven games. But, after beating the New Orleans Pelicans 134-131 on Tuesday night to move within a half-game of Portland for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs, the Nuggets' pulse has never been stronger.

"It's funny. A lot of people keep on counting us out," Malone said after the Nuggets won despite giving up 75 points in the first half. "We lose three in a row and a lot of people kind of give up hope. Everybody in that locker room is remaining positive, optimistic, and we're going to play this thing out."

With five games left, the Nuggets (37-40) are a half-game behind Portland (38-40) in the West; but, because of tiebreakers, they must finish with a better record than the Blazers to make the playoffs. The defeat eliminated the Pelicans (33-45) from playoff contention.

The Nuggets showed grit in recording their second consecutive victory. Danilo Gallinari scored 28 points, including 5 of 10 from long range, to lead seven players in double figures.

Guard Gary Harris scored 23 points and forced two critical turnovers by Jrue Holiday in the final 15.3 seconds, and center Nikola Jokic scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Wilson Chandler added 18, rookie guard Jamal Murray had 16 points and five assists, Mudiay had 15 and Mason Plumlee had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Pelicans trailed 132-131 with 18.2 seconds left when E'Twaun Moore inbounded the ball near half court to Holiday for what was supposed to be a final possession. But under heavy pressure from Harris, Holiday dribbled the ball off his leg and committed a backcourt violation.

Emmanuel Mudiay made 1 of 2 free throws to put Denver up 133-131 with 9.3 seconds left, but New Orleans had another chance to tie or win with another inbounds play from half court. Holiday pivoted near the top of the key and threw a lazy pass for DeMarcus Cousins, which Harris deflected with his left arm and then intercepted, leading to another free throw that provided the final margin.

"Those two plays he had -- Gary has great instincts, he anticipates, he has great hands," Malone said. "That's why he was an All-American football player coming out of high school (in Indiana) and could've gone anywhere in the country. Gary is an incredible athlete, and I think he's one of the better two-way players in the NBA."

"I honestly didn't even see it," Harris said of his steal of Holiday's pass. "I just put my hands up and my hands hit the ball.

"I'm a competitor. I'm just good at reacting. I feel like I can see stuff about to happen. Sometimes it hurts me because I gamble sometimes; but, when I do, good things happen."

The Nuggets led 128-120 with 2:51 left, but the Pelicans closed to 130-128 with 51 seconds left, when Anthony Davis scored on a lob from Cousins. After Denver went up 131-128, Cousins nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 131 with 30.5 seconds left.

Davis led all scorers with 41 points, and Cousins added 30 points and 14 rebounds in a losing cause.

"There were a lot of good things," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. "I think we can see that DeMarcus and AD can coexist and be fine together. I think we've got to do a better job of executing down the stretch. We can't have the crucial turnovers."

Holiday took the blame for the plays at the end.

"Obviously, I hate to make those type of decisions and mistakes in such tight quarters, but I have great teammates," Holiday said. "They told me to keep my head up. Obviously, some of the best players have done it in similar situations and they told me that wasn't the reason we lost."

The Pelicans scored a season-high 75 first-half point en route to a 75-69 lead. Davis poured in 25 points on 12-of-19 shooting, and his final three baskets of the half came on high-flying dunks at the end of alley-oop assists.

NOTES: The Pelicans played their final home game of the season and finished 21-20. "It's been a roller coaster," coach Alvin Gentry said. "Obviously, adding DeMarcus (Cousins) to the mix was an adjustment, but I think everyone can see that those two guys (Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins) can coexist and be very effective. We've just got to find a way to make the whole thing come together." ... Gentry praised the work of lead defensive assistant Darren Erman. "We went from being in the bottom 10 (in NBA defense) to we're in the top 10 now," he said. ... Gentry believes Davis has earned All-NBA team recognition. "I don't think anybody has played to the level he has consistently, night in and night out," Gentry said. "The other great thing about it is he's going to play over 70 games this year and, for him, that's quite an accomplishment, because he's had some struggles injury-wise." ... Denver coach Michael Malone said he believes the Davis-Cousins tandem will be a force next year. "DeMarcus Cousins is shooting 50 percent from three in the last five games, so they have an inside-outside attack," Malone said.

Read the complete news article here...


More Featured News

Why Adam Silvers comments on the one-and-done rule miss the mark
Published On: Thu, Jun 01
NBA commissioner Adam Silver joined FS1s The Herd with Colin Cowherd for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the NBA on Wednesday.And while issues such as super teams and resting players are ...
Adam Silver: NBA rethinking one-and-done rule
Published On: Wed, May 31
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has never been one adverse to change since he took over that role from David Stern. For the most part, it has helped the Association move on from a bygone era tha...
Danilo Gallinari Declines $16.1M Player Option With Nuggets
Published On: Wed, May 31
Danilo Gallinari will decline his $16.1 million player option with the Denver Nuggets for the 17-18 season to become an unrestricted free agent.Gallinari remains interested in signing a long-term d...
Anthony Davis chosen first-team All-NBA for second time in three seasons
Published On: Thu, May 18
With one week remaining in the 2016-17 regular season, Anthony Davis half-jokingly told the media that although being chosen for an All-NBA team would be meaningful for him, last year it wouldve me...
NBA Team Option Decisions For 2017/18
Published On: Mon, May 15
Having created a post last week to track this offseasons player option decisions, were turning our attention today to team options. In the coming weeks, well use the space below to keep tabs on all...
NBA Teams Fed Up with Rockets' 'Jabroni' Foul-Drawing
Published On: Thu, May 11
What the NBA should do about the proliferation of players being fouled on three-point shot attempts is up for debate. What is not is who has practically cornered the market on how to draw them: the...
Sources: Will Barton won't OK Nuggets extension
Published On: Sun, Apr 30
Denver Nuggets swingman Will Barton will not agree to a contract extension this offseason and will test unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018, league sources tell ESPN.Sources say the Nugg...
Nuggets GM: Re-signing Gallinari is 'priority No. 1'
Published On: Thu, Apr 27
Denver Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said that re-signing Danilo Gallinari is a top priority for the organization.Il Gallo will opt out of his $16.1 million contract for next season to test ...
Danilo Gallinari: I would love to remain with the Nuggets. I love it here
Published On: Thu, Apr 20
Interviewed by BlitzTV, Danilo Gallinari said that he wants to remain with the Nuggets.Il Gallo has a $16.1 million player option for next season that he is not expected to pick. Gallinari will opt...
Here Is The BIG3 Basketball Leagues Full 10-City Schedule For The Summer
Published On: Tue, Apr 18
The BIG3s full 10-week, 10-city schedule has been released, as the fledgling basketball league filled with former NBA stars like Allen Iverson, Jason Williams, Stephen Jackson, Chauncey Billups and...
Jerseys Hats Shirts Sweatshirts

Name Pos
D.J. Augustin PG
Jameer Nelson PG
Mike Miller SG
Randy Foye SG
Danilo Gallinari SF
JJ Hickson C
Will Barton SF
Kenneth Faried PF
Erick Green PG
Gary Harris SG
See All Players