Recap: Denver Nuggets outlast Washington Wizards at home

NBA: Washington Wizards at Denver Nuggets
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets and Washington Wizards started out the game with both sides struggling to knock down shots, but things started to pick up midway through the first quarter as they began trading buckets. Denver’s starters had gotten the team up to a 10-point lead, but the Wizards were starting to crawl back with their second unit on the floor. They were ultimately able to get within seven to make it 29-22 Nuggets heading into the second quarter.

Denver was rolling to start the second period, as they went on an 8-2 run in the first two minutes of the period to stretch their lead up to 13. The two sides traded buckets over the next few minutes with the Wizards staying around the 10-point deficit, but they couldn’t get much closer. Denver was on a run with around three minutes left in the period, with the punctuation mark being a huge dunk from Aaron Gordon in transition. Over the final minutes of the quarter, the Nuggets got rolling on the offensive end and stretched their lead to 18 to make it 59-41 heading into halftime.

Denver was rolling early to start the second half with five quick points before Monte Morris drilled a 3-point shot while being fouled before completing the 4-point play at the line which had Denver leading by 26. With 8:08 remaining, Denver’s lead was up to 30 with a score of 76-46. The two sides were trading buckets over the next few minutes before the Wizards eventually got within 30 with a triple with 5:04 on the clock with a score of 83-54. Following a timeout by Denver, that run by the Wizards was continuing as the Nuggets committed three turnovers in under three minutes. Washington was hot over the final three minutes with a 15-4 run, and they were within 20 with under a minute remaining in the quarter. Denver got a couple of free throws late in the quarter, and they were leading 91-70 heading into the final period.

The two sides traded buckets for the first few minutes of the quarter, but Denver went on a cold spell where they just couldn’t get a shot to fall. Washington was within 16 with just under 8:30 remaining, and that had Michael Malone putting his starters back in to try and put the game away. Nikola Jokic was tossed from the game with 6:09 remaining after he was arguing calls following multiple physical plays that went uncalled. Denver was leading by 18, and they had to try and put the game away without their reigning MVP. That wasn’t going well, as their lead was just 15 with 5:00 left on the clock.

After leading by 32 at one point in the second half, Denver’s lead was down to eight with under three minutes remaining. Denver stretched the lead to 10 with 1:15 to go, but Washington wasn’t going down without a fight when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a corner triple. Bones Hyland hit a pair of free throws with 28.6 remaining to hopefully ice the game. Facu hit two more free throws, and Denver was leading by nine. The only problem was the Wizards continued to hit clutch 3-point shots, as they were 9-of-19 in the second half. Facu fouled Aaron Holiday with 2.1 remaining, but the Nuggets were leading by eight. They would go on to win the game 113-107. This was also the first time the Nuggets had won back-to-back games in over a month.

Stat Leaders

Points: Nikola Jokic – 28

Assists: Jokic – 9

Rebounds: Jokic – 19

Player of the Game: Nikola Jokic – 28 points, 19 rebounds, 9 assists, 9-of-14 field goal, 1-of-2 3-point, 9-of-11 free throw

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