Losing sucks and for the better part of a month, we Nuggets fans have not had that awful feeling to deal with. Of course, it had to end at some time and unfortunately, the 15 game winning streak came to a crashing halt Monday night in New Orleans as the Hornets beat up the Nuggets 110-86.
On a night where Denver got Wilson Chandler back but were still without Ty Lawson, Nuggets simply didn’t have enough in the tank to overcome a New Orleans Hornets team that shot lights out and got double figure point production from all their starters. From the tip, the Hornets took it to Denver, shooting 50% from the field in the 1st quarter and were draining three pointers making 4/5 in the 1st.
There was little intensity from Denver in the 1st and they seemed to just be going through the motions. After the 1st, Denver was fortunate to only be down 27-18. Denver would continue their shooting woes in the 2nd quarter and the Hornets would continue to knock down theirs, especially thanks to Ryan Anderson who was on fire from three. Late in the quarter, Gallo tried to spur Denver on with 10 straight points of his own but that was the only bright spot, as New Orleans took a 59-38 lead into halftime, with Anderson accounting for 16 points and 4/5 from three.
New Orleans had 18 first half assists and outrebounded Denver 23-14. Denver finally did show some energy to open the 3 rd quarter, and got to within nine with under 2 minutes left in the 3rd, but could never get all the way back into the game. The Hornets would extend their lead to 86-68 headed to the 4th, mostly because they were still shooting over 50% from the field. Denver didn’t show enough focus tonight and truthfully let New Orleans do what they wanted on the offensive side of the ball.
The 4th quarter was Denver’s best quarter and there were glimpses of the team that was on an amazing 15 game winning streak but tonight it would not be enough. The Hornets would coast to victory 110-86. Brian Roberts, an absolute nobody torched Denver for 13 points and dished out 18 assists which sadly was more than Denver had as a team on the night (14).
New Orleans even outscored Denver 44-38 in points in the paint. Ryan Anderson finished 23 points. Gallo led the Nuggets with 24 points. This will be a game Denver will want to forget about quickly and they will get the chance to start a new winning streak on Wednesday night as they travel to San Antonio to take on the top team in the West. I have to imagine that Ty Lawson will be back and the Nuggets will want to exercise some demons.
All is not lost, as Memphis also did lose tonight, so Denver is still in contention for that priceless 3rd seed in the West.