A Christmas Day showcase, it wasn’t.
At least to the Nuggets, whose seven-game winning streak was snapped in the hands of a rebuilding — nevertheless hungry — Pelicans squad.
New Orleans came to Pepsi Center for its Nuggets’ first Christmas Day match since 2012 and handed them a humbling 112-100 reduction, not reminiscent of the one that happened in the end of October. Denver dropped to 21-9 on the calendar year, not able to capitalize on the national TV stage.
”Let’s give credit,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone. “They arrived here Christmas night and played harder than people, desired the game more than us. ”
Led by Brandon Ingram, Jrue Holiday and Josh Hart, the Pelicans took the cover off the ball in the 3-point line, draining 18-of-43 out from outside.
Nikola Jokic paced the Nuggets with 23 points on 8-of-20 shooting in the field, but he was barely as dominant as he had been during their amazing streak. Gary Harris added 15 points, and Malik Beasley (13) and Jerami Grant (17) were precious sparks off the bench.
”Every ball has been theirs, each loose ball was theirs,” stated Jokic. “I cannot make 1 point. We didn’t ship out, maybe. ”
Paul Millsap played only 16 minutes, completing with 0 points and four assists.
They couldn’t even fit exactly the Pelicans’ electricity and lost the rebounding battle, 52-41. That comprised 14 demoralizing offensive rebounds for the Pelicans.
”They did exactly the same things the very first time we played with them,” Harris stated, that noted the guards required to do a better job.
The Nuggets played with much more urgency in the next quarter dozen. Will Barton and Jokic combined for 14 points since the offense found some semblance of shape, with much more movement and more assertiveness. However, the Pelicans kept coming beneath a strategy and a torrent of 3-pointers. The Nuggets, in particular, fought with Ingram’s length. He scored 11 of the 31 in the next to put New Orleans up 84-80 moving in the final quarter.
Malone explained the Christmas game offered a referendum on the way his group is viewed across the NBA.
“It’s a honour (to perform Christmas),” he said, 1 day after the group announced a new contract extension. “I believe the year we had this past year, just how we played on the large stage in the playoffs, on top of being a very young, fun, enjoyable group to see a wonderful participant in Nikola Jokic. ”
The very first time these two teams met, on Halloween in New Orleans, the effort left the Nuggets looking for answers and bemused.
“That’s best, so 1 holiday ” Malone joked prior to the match. “Thanks for bringing this up. We don&rsquo. We’re grown-(expletive) men. They humiliated us, and rsquo & now there;s no other way to place it. This is the way they overcome us, when we watch clips s not going to embarrass anybody, however it & rsquo; therefore to frighten our players this is exactly what we did to us. ”
Malone said he had those discussions with gamers in the buildup to Wednesday.
Nuggets announce contract extension for head coach Michael Malone
“It’s going to be wonderful ”: Nuggets relish opportunity for Christmas showcase
The NBA’s showcase day — Christmas — has arrived
“We didn’t fear ”: Inside the Nuggets’ dramatic, streak-saving triumph over Suns
Jamal Murray extends Nuggets winning streak to seven with clutch jumper
“If we don’t get back, if we hurry, if we back pedal, even if we don’t even have urgency to get back, then they’ll do exactly the identical thing tonight,” he further added. “That’s they perform. And you need to be prepared for it, so our guys know that. ”
It made improved compared to the half wore on, although neither group was sharp to open the match. The Pelicans took a 58-55 lead into halftime after shooting at a blistering 56% from the field over the first two quarters.
This cancel the 13 turnovers Denver pushed, which contributed to a unsettled pace.
Harris, Grant and Beasley were electrical and combined to 33 of those Nuggets’ points. Harris, in particular, disrupted the Pelicans’ rhythm with his plucky hands and perfect time. On the opposite end, Beasley drilled three 3-pointers to bolster Denver’s attack.
Buy Tickets for every event – Sports, Concerts, Festivals and more buy tickets dot com concerts