Final, Nuggets 98-91: The Celtics fought valiantly but couldn’t come up with the key buckets nor stop Kenneth Faried who was the difference down the stretch with six free throws and three key rebounds in the final four months. He finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each had 22 points.
Fourth quarter, 2:26, Nuggets 92-87: The Celtics cut the deficit to 2 points on two occasions but Ty Lawson just canned a critical 3-pointer and Kevin Garnett followed with a missed 20-footer. Paul Pierce has fouled out, a victim of the voracious rebounding by Kenneth Faried, who has 15 in 21 minutes.
Fourth quarter, 5:41, Nuggets 87-81: As much as they try to foil their chances of winning with turnovers, the Celtics are back within six for the first time in seemingly months. The Celtics are beginning to play defense and taking advantage of Denver’s sloppiness with the ball (20 turnovers).
Fourth quarter, 7:18, Nuggets 87-77: Celtics still have a chance but they need some stops. They are starting to get to the free throw line but are turning the ball over way too much to make a serious rally.
End of third quarter, Nuggets 80-68: The Celtics seemed to have found something defensively to limit the Nuggets but their margin for error is extremely slim. The problem is the Celtics are fouling way too much and bailing out the Nuggets on out-of-control drives to the basket. Danilo Gallinari leads the Nuggets with 20 points while Paul Pierce has 18 for the Celtics.
Third quarter, 2:29, Nuggets 79-64: The Celtics just can’t get any stops and even when they do, the Nuggets grab the offensive rebound and score again. And they have no answer for Danilo Gallinari, who has 20 points on 5-for-10 shooting. The Nuggets have attempted 20 free throws to the Celtics’ 5. Doc Rivers has been working the officials all game.
Third quarter, 7:20, Nuggets 69-56: The Celtics are beginning to hit shots but they can’t stop Denver from the dribble penetration and then jumper. Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo have canned 15 footers that caused Doc Rivers to call a timeout. He’s still upset about an offensive foul that was called against Rajon Rondo and just picked up a technical foul.
Halftime, Nuggets 55-42: Boy, the Celtics are being exposed here. They just can’t rebound (27-11 Nuggets) and can’t stop dribble penetration and the dish off for the open 3-pointer. Danilo Gallinari just hit Denver’s fifth 3-pointer of the half for its biggest lead of the game. Denver has attempted 13 free throws to the Celtics’ 3.
Second quarter, 2:32, Nuggets 48-36: The Celtics are trying to counter Denver’s constant offensive pressure with scores of their own, but they are making silly turnovers and being absolutely embarrassed by Kenneth Faried, who has 11 rebounds, equaling the Celtics total. The Nuggets also have eight offensive rebounds to zero for the Celtics.
Second quarter, 8:55, Nuggets 32-27: The Celtics are shipping away after falling behind by as many as 9. Ty Lawson has five rebounds for Denver while the Celtics have eight as a team. They need to start pounding the boards or the Nuggets will continue to score in the paint.
End of first quarter, Nuggets 29-22: The Nuggets have canned four 3-pointers and are out-rebounding the Celtics 17-7 as they have led most of the period. Danilo Gallinari has 8 points while Al Harrington has 6 off the bench. The Celtics are shooting 42 percent with 8 points from Paul Pierce.
First quarter, 2:57, Nuggets 20-16: The Nuggets are out-rebounding the Celtics 14-6 and scoring on second-chance points and fastbreaks. The Celtics are shooting 39 percent from the field (7 of 18) but it seems they are trying to keep close before figuring out how to defend this team. Denver is No. 1 in the NBA in scoring.
First quarter, 5:22, Nuggets 16-12: The Celtics are giving up way too many points in the paint and second-chance points. Former Morehead State standout Kenneth Faried already has seven rebounds while Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov have six points. Mozgov has scored on all layups or dunks.