Pistons stun Nuggets to snap seven-game losing streak


The Nuggets’ season of giving began Tuesday night when they gift-wrapped a dispiriting win to the reeling Pistons.

Down 13 midway through the fourth quarter, the Nuggets clawed all the way back to within one possession numerous times before Detroit finally finished them off. Despite missing Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey, the Pistons stunned the Nuggets with a 110-108 win at Ball Arena.

After sinking one free throw to draw within two points, Aaron Gordon missed the mid-range look at the buzzer that would’ve tied the game and sent it to overtime.

But Denver only had itself to blame, with 18 turnovers that yielded 26 Piston points. It didn’t matter that Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Gordon had all returned from illness. Denver was sloppy in its execution, and the Pistons, who’d lost seven straight games, made them pay. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and Detroit got 53 points from its bench.

Jokic had 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, but Murray’s 3-of-12 shooting night kept the offense from erupting. It’s possible he was still feeling the impact of his recent COVID case.

The Nuggets fell to 10-7 with a back-to-back at Oklahoma City on deck Wednesday.

Though Bones Hyland played, he didn’t finish the game due to illness. It was one more setback after the Nuggets scrapped for arguably their best win of the season on Sunday at Dallas.

Defensively, Denver showed out in the third quarter. Porter registered two quick blocks that bled into the offense, and Murray, Brown and Gordon each stole the ball on various possessions. Davon Reed dove along the baseline to save another, but Detroit kept it close by living at the rim and benefitting from their second unit.

It didn’t help when Porter committed a careless turnover on an entry pass to Jokic, or when Murray turned it over to kickstart a Pistons fastbreak. As a result, the Nuggets couldn’t get any separation and went into the fourth trailing 83-81.

Given how many guys entered Tuesday’s contest on the injury report, Nuggets coach Michael Malone could credibly claim he didn’t know who’d be available once the game finally tipped off.

But as Jokic and Murray went through their typical pre-game shooting routines, it became clearer that at least part of Denver’s roster was on the mend. Hyland, who was questionable for the day with an illness, suited up, too. Others, including Ish Smith (calf) and Peyton Watson (non-COVID illness) were unavailable.


Source link