To the surprise of no one, the Denver Nuggets entered the Toyota Center and came out victorious as they defeated the Houston Rockets 133-112tonight. This one had all of the makings of a game pitting the top-seeded team in the conference versus the worst record in the league.
On the bright side, no one went for 71 points this evening! However, I was worried that Jamal Murray was going to attempt a Dame impression when he quickly put up 16 in the first quarter. Also consider that everyone that played significant minutes for Denver, other than Reggie Jackson, shot over fifty percent in this game.
Houston didn’t shoot poorly from the field, 49.5% in total, but only knocking down 29% of their threes contributed to being seriously overmatched in this one.
Jalen Green gave us 17 points in 19 minutes in his first game back since getting injured before the All-Star break, but even his best performance couldn’t have salvaged this one. While the talk around his lack of improvement this season has been louder as of late, he did demonstrate his ability to take and make difficult shots in this game, which is something I’m always willing to exhaust all options with when it comes to a talented prospect.
As for Şengün, it wasn’t his best showing tonight, which is certainly understandable considering that he drew a gargantuan matchup against Nikola Jokić. The Joker managed to pick up his 100th career triple-double against the Rockets, so I guess we haven’t stopped allowing history to happen on a nightly basis. Alpy only finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds as his -36 plus/minus marked a lowlight of the night.
To the Rockets’ credit, they had a season-high 33 assists and only 13 turnovers. Even then, that somehow still managed to pale in comparison to Denvers’ 40 dimes and 11 TO’s. The thing I most noticed about this Nuggets team is how quick and willing they are to move the ball and make that extra pass. More times than not, that will lead to an even better look for their array of shooters.
I heard a disturbing tidbit during the broadcast that highlighted the Rockets’ 13 wins and how the Nuggets won their 13th game all the way back in November against these same Rockets. Tomorrow is March, if you were keeping track.
Other things I wanted to point out include the following:
- KJ Martin, keep doing what you do. You aren’t the issue.
- Daishen Nix was a -27 +/-, but I strangely didn’t mind how he played. He scored 14 and while there were some errors, I’ve seen worse.
- The most efficient shooting center from Serbia played for the Rockets tonight. Boban made the crowd’s night with a dazzling 8 points in 4 minutes.
- Garuba hit another three. I’m just saying...
- The transition defense was abysmal, but hey, what’s new?
What does March have in store for the Rockets? Find out with us tomorrow as the Memphis Grizzlies visit town!