Recap: Denver’s offense struggles as the 76ers stomp the Nuggets 97-71

2022 NBA Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The young bulls got a taste of reality today

The Denver Nuggets faced the Philadelphia 76ers and it was far from a contest today. Philly led wire to wire as Denver’s offense could not find the bottom of the net, while the 76ers could not miss. Denver shot 35% from the field and 27% from three while the 76ers shot 48% from the field and 42% from deep. Philly had five guys in double figured with Grant Riller as their top scorer with 18 points. Denver only had two in double figures with the high scorer being Mbaye N’Diaye who only logged 9 late minutes but was impressive with 12 points.

Denver’s top picks struggled again today. Christian Braun finally ended his three-point draught with two threes, but he shot 4-11 from the field with 4 turnovers. He did have 6 assists and 6 rebounds, so he has shown the ability to produce without scoring the basketball which is a great sign for Denver. Peyton Watson scored 2 points on 1-7 shooting with 2 turnovers, and even the steady Collin Gillespie struggled with 5 points on 2-9 shooting from the field and 0-5 from three.

1st Quarter

  • Denver’s first three possessions resulted in turnovers, one resulting in a Bassey jam at the other end. Charlie Brown Jr. then knocked down a three-ball combined with a Justin Smith dunk, but Collin Gillespie ended the short run with a mid-range jumper
  • Trevelin Queen nailed a deep three for the 10-2 Philadelphia lead, and after three straight missed shots for Denver, Peyton Watson converted a floater off a Braun offensive rebound. Queen then got fouled on a three-point attempt as he made all three attempts
  • Denver’s offensive was absolutely anemic. They started 2-15 shooting from the field and 0-5 from three while the 76ers shot 5-8 from the field and 2-4 from three as they got out to an early 15-4 advantage
  • The Nugget’s defense tightened late in the quarter, but their offense remained stagnant. They lacked movement on the perimeter and continuously dribbled without a purpose. When Gillespie hit one of two free throws at the 2:36 mark, that snaped a four-minute scoreless streak
  • Adonis Arms knocked in a floater in his first action of the night, but it was immediately countered with a Grant Riller three. A minute later, Riller would drill another three, but Arms would end the quarter with another floater

Score: 22-9 76ers

Scoring leaders: Riller/Queen – 6, Arms – 4

2022 NBA Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

2nd Quarter

  • Riller and Foster Jr. added five straight for Philly to open the quarter. Marcus Burk finally scored for Denver when he knocked down a three, but Riller continued his hot play with a layup
  • Riller added a step-back, mid-range jumper as they increased their lead 31-11. Matt Mitchell scored his first points of the ballgame with a soft mid-range bank shot
  • Isaiah Joe hit two consecutive threes with a Matt Mitchell three in the middle, but the 76ers kept on rolling with a Brown Jr. triple as Philly obtained their largest lead of the game at 41-17
  • Queen nailed another three for Philly as they began shooting 7-12 from three-point range. Arms matched it with a three of his own, and then Braun ended his three-point draught with a deep triple
  • Justin Smith then converted a layup, but Braun drilled his second consecutive three off a Gillespie assist. Smith added an alley-oop dunk following another Nugget turnover

Score: 48-27 76ers

Scoring leaders: Riller – 13, Arms – 8

3rd Quarter

  • Queen introduced the quarter with a wide-open dunk, but the Nuggets would answer with four straight transition points from Braun. Joe countered with a deep triple, and then Kamagate scored his first points with an and-one hook shot
  • Smith, Queen, and Brown Jr. combined for seven straight for Philly as they increased their lead 61-34. Jack White scored a layup following a Denver timeout, but Philly remained relentless with another Joe triple
  • About two minutes of scoreless basketball would go by until Joe and Queen scored five straight for Philly. Gillespie then drove to the rim for a layup, but the 76ers lead remained steady at 69-38
  • Again, the Nuggets would go about another two minutes without a basket until Burks’s layup. Jack White would add another layup, but Aminu Mohammed matched it with a layup, and Riller ended the quarter with a floater

Score: 73-43 76ers

Scoring leaders: Queen – 17, Braun – 11

2022 NBA Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets
Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

4th Quarter

  • Jontay Porter nailed a three to open the quarter, but after a Philly offensive rebound, Foster Jr. would put it back for two. Braun then assisted a Jack White dunk, but what would a Denver bucket be without a quick response from Philly as Mohammed converted a layup
  • Bryce Wills made a nice driving layup and followed it up with a deep triple. Julian Champagnie answered with a mid-range bucket and Mohammed added another dunk for the 83-53 Philly advantage
  • Mbaye N’Diaye scored a transition dunk for his first points off a Braun assist. N’Diaye and Riller exchanged baskets, and then N’Diaye continued his hot play with a nice three, but Mohammed matched it with his own triple
  • Drake Jeffries drilled a three as the Nuggets finally got within 25. It was short-lived as Mohammed made one of two free throws, and Fred Sims Jr. made two straight threes for Philly with a Jeffries made three in between

Score: 97-71 76ers

Scoring leaders: Riller – 18, N’Diaye – 12

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