Recap: Nuggets come back from 18 against Pacers to win fourth in a row

Recap: Nuggets come back from 18 against Pacers to win fourth in a row

The first quarter of this game started as if both teams were absolutely enthralled by the Indiana nightlife – missed shots and turnovers were the norm. However, the Nuggets turned things around very quickly and found a rhythm after Michael Porter Jr. started them 5 points clear. The Nuggets forced Indiana into an early timeout and found themselves up 10-3 before the 8th minute.

After the timeout, the movement of the ball became contagious. The Nuggets were throwing pennies and even though they weren’t shooting as well as they normally do, they were still scoring in droves. Indiana also started scoring a bit more, with Tyrese Halliburton scoring several threes from beyond the arc. Both benches traded blows and finished the quarter with the Nuggets having a 35-27 lead. He was led by Nikola Jokic with 10 points and 3 assists, followed by Michael Porter Jr. with 7 points.

To start the second quarter, the second unit was manhandled by Bennedict Mathurin. He took what was at one point a double-digit lead and quickly turned it into a Pacers lead. Bones Hyland was struggling to finish inside the arc, which has been a pattern all season – but the bench goes as far as it goes and he was pretty bad at starting this one. By the time the Pacers forced the Nuggets to a timeout at 9:25 in the quarter, he was shooting 1 of 5 from the field. The Nuggets needed more from their second unit.

Unfortunately for them, they didn’t realize that and shortly after Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon and KCP substituted, Nikola Jokic committed his third foul and fourth foul of the game in quick succession. After that the game just went downhill. Mathurin continued to light up the Nuggets, scoring 23 first-half points in just 13 minutes. Tyrese Halliburton also had 13 points and 6 assists. Aaron Gordon led the Nuggets with 11 points, but the Nuggets just didn’t look good at either end of the field. They were a mess and were down 56-70 at halftime.

Coming out of halftime, the Nuggets were looking to set a strong tone and get back into the game, but the exact opposite happened. Nikola Jokic committed his first foul in 58 seconds and the whole game fell apart. The Nuggets tried to find things that worked, but nothing worked. The Pacers kept scoring, the Nuggets didn’t score enough. They needed someone to step in, but no one did. Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray didn’t provide a spark — the Nuggets just looked lost.

That was until Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit three pointers in quick succession. After that, the defense intensified and the Nugget found themselves a second wind. After dropping as many as 18 points, the Nuggets brought it down to 6 to end the quarter thanks to Bones and KCP.

The fourth quarter started much the same way the third quarter ended, and the Nuggets picked up the pace. Although Bennedict Mathurin continued to score, they were able to keep pace with the Pacers thanks to Michael Porter Jr. hitting a three and things went from there. The Nuggets were able to cut the lead to 5 by the time Joker came back and once that happened the Nuggets came back and after some late game heroics from Joker and Jamal Murray the Nuggets ended up pulling out this one 122-119 .

It was a bold win with outstanding performances from all starters and Bones Hyland. The six of them all scored 15 or more. Aaron Gordon also had 16 rebounds, Jamal Murray and MPJ were crucial, and KCP was the one to bring the game back. This game showed a different approach to what would have happened last year. The Nuggets hold on and win their fourth in a row.

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