Final: Nuggets 97, Celtics 90

Final: Nuggets 94-90: The Celtics just couldn’t execute down the stretch and Kevin Garnett missed a tough bank shot that would have cut the deficit to 2 and the Celtics were forced to foul. Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson were the keys with 26 points a piece. Jeff Green led Boston with 20 points and Avery Bradley had 17 but just 5 after the break.

Fourth quarter, 40.5, Nuggets 94-90: The Celtics have withstood the Nuggets trying to apply that final blow with a 3-pointer and responded with 4 straight points. Kenneth Faried just missed two free throws, giving the Celtics the ball and they need to score quickly. Both teams are out of fouls.


Fourth quarter, 2:35, Nuggets 93-86: The Celtics are just falling short down the stretch, allowing too many second-chance points and not executing on the offensive end. In the last sequence, Kevin Garnett missed two free throws, Courtney Lee rebounded the second miss but the Celtics turned the ball over again. Kenneth Faried then scooped up a rebound on an Andre Miller miss and scored it. The Nuggets have 13 second-chance points. Celtics ball.

Fourth quarter, 4:46, Nuggets 89-84: A tough sequence as Avery Bradley hits a tying 3-pointer and then Danilo Gallinari comes back with a 3-pointer off the dribble and after a Kevin Garnett miss, Ty Lawson, the smallest man on the court, grabs an offensive rebound and scores a putback for a 5-point lead. The Celtics need something from Paul Pierce, who is 2-for-12 shooting and a minus-22.

Fourth quarter, 8:30, Nuggets 80-79: The Celtics are playing with passion to begin the quarter, as the Nuggets are 0-for-5 from the field while the Celtics are 3-for-5 and Jeff Green has the past 5 points, including a 3-pointer to force a Denver timeout. Green has a game high 16 points off the bench while Courtney Lee has 15 for Boston.

End of third quarter, Nuggets 78-70: The Nuggets end the quarter on a 23-10 run as everything seemingly went their way while the Celtics missed shots they hit in the first half. After a 21-point first quarter, the Nuggets have 57 in the past two and the Celtics were 6-for-19 from the field in the quarter. The Celtics need a push from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who have a combined 18 points.


Third quarter, 2:51, Nuggets 73-67: The game is slowly slipping away because the Celtics have no answer for Ty Lawson or Danilo Gallinari, who have combined for 15 points in the quarter and Gallinari has hit two 3-pointers. The Celtics are 6-for-15 shooting in the quarter and after combining for 24 points in the first half, Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley have 3 in the quarter.

Third quarter, 6:00, Nuggets 62-60: The Celtics are playing well but they are letting the Nuggets stay close at the free throw line. The Nuggets are getting some calls while the Celtics have attempted four free throws all evening. Danilo Gallinari just hit a 3-pointer off a fastbreak for a 2-point Denver lead and the Nuggets are 5-for-12 from the 3-point line.

Halftime, Celtics 50-49: Courtney Lee drains a 17-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Celtics the lead in a first half they mostly controlled. The Nuggets have played well in spurts but the Celtics are hitting shots consistently and have gotten a combined 24 from Lee and Avery Bradley. Danilo Gallinari leads Denver with 13 points but has received some generous calls on forced shots while Ty Lawson has 12. Denver has also stayed close by hitting four 3-pointers.

Second quarter, 1:30, Celtics 48-45: The Celtics are using strong defense and crisp ball movement to stay ahead. And Paul Pierce only has 3 points but Jeff Green has contributed 6 off the bench as the Celtics are shooting 52.5 percent.

Second quarter, 4:39, Tied at 39: The Celtics have led by as many as 9 points but the Nuggets are on a 12-3 run as they have picked up the pace. Andre Miller has burned the Celtics for 10 points off the bench while Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee have teamed for 22. Brandon Bass has seven rebounds in less than 14 minutes.


First quarter, 2:33, Celtics 20-14: The Celtics are shooting 56.3 percent from the field and appear comfortable in the altitude, especially Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee, who have combined for 10 points. The Nuggets look flat and uninterested, missing 13 of 19 shots. The Celtics have hurt themselves with three turnovers already.

First quarter, 5;00, Celtics 16-11: The Celtics are playing a probably a faster pace than they’d like to but they are 7-for-13 shooting and Avery Bradley is off to a fast start with 6 points. Denver isn’t playing much defense so far but Danilo Gallinari is keeping the Nuggets close with 9 points.

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