Finally. The Denver Nuggets have something to celebrate.
The Nuggs came out with a purpose last night, as they put up a phenomenal 41 points in the first quarter, two nights after giving up 40 to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Being on the opposite side of that must have felt good for Denver, as they haven't had much to cheer about in the past few games. It was new territory for the Nuggets as they never trailed in the entirety of the game, and won with the help of their big men and free throws. Getting to the line a tremendous 36 times was a great start, but making 30 of those free throws was an even better finish. The Nuggs took a 17-point lead into the second half and never looked back. And with the horrendous play of the Maverick's centers who all three combined for zero points, paved the way for both J.J. Hickson, who had 16 points and five blocks, and Kenneth Faried, who also had 16 to accompany eight rebounds.
This is a huge step for the Nuggs as they were looking pretty dismal in their last ten games. But it seems as though the return of Ty Lawson has really sparked a fire underneath the team. Now sitting at 26-34, the Nuggs still have a fighting chance to snatch the eight seed in the West with 22 games left to play. But if the Nuggs want to pull out the spectacular, they are going to have to REALLY want it. As 14 of their last 22 opponents have winning records, 15 of which hold a current spot in the playoff picture.
It's a bit of a stretch, but this would be a hell of a time for the Nuggs to make a run...Watch out.