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DENVER, Colo. – The Denver Nuggets finished out their preseason against the Dallas Mavericks at home with a 101-75 victory. Denver finally started defending the 3-point line and ended up decimating their opposition in almost every single aspect of tonight’s game.
Jusuf Nurkic, as he has throughout the preseason, came out of the gates aggressive and within the first three minutes had drawn three fouls, scored four points including a devastating block on newest Maverick, Harrison Barnes. Nurkic’s chemistry with Nikola Jokic continued to shine as the two gain more experience playing together.
The Balkan duo combined for 20 points and 12 rebounds in just 36 minutes on the night.
The Nuggets ended the first quarter with a 24-17 advantage. Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with seven points and two assists with Nurkic adding in six points and four rebounds. Denver held the Mavericks to 44.4 percent from the field and 0-4 from beyond the arc.
The start of the second quarter continued with Nurkic dominating the paint while the Nuggets team defense began to settle in and suffocate the Dallas offense. Jamal Murray‘s rough shooting night against the Oklahoma City Thunder had leaked into his start against the Mavericks. By the end of the half, Murray was 0-7 from the field with five of his seven misses from the 3-point line. Malone elected to replace Murray with Malik Beasley with about seven minutes remaining in the half.
The Nuggets then went on an 8-0 run to extend their lead even further while Gallinari continued to be hyper-efficient at Pepsi Center. Gallinari finished the first half with 16 points on only four shots. He finished the game an unblemished 4-4 form the field, 2-2 from three, and 6-6 from he field while adding two rebounds and two assists as well. The Nuggets entered halftime leading 51-33 and in complete control of the game.
Being that the Nuggets entered the third quarter with an 18 point lead, Malone decided to rest Nurkic and Gallinari the rest of the way and started Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried instead. Jokic began asserting himself and had six points, four rebounds and an assist in the third quarter while pushing their already large lead even further.
The Nuggets then continued their onslaught and ended the third quarter with a 77-49 lead.
The fourth quarter was Beasley’s time. The young shooting guard came into the period 0-2 from the field, but by the end of the quarter had contributed 11 points.
Emmanuel Mudiay should be back for the opener as well, but Darrell Arthur‘s status is still up in the air. Malone wants to take his time with the versatile forward and said he would not rush Arthur back.
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado | October 21 2016 | Preseason Game No. 8
NUGGETS STAR OF THE GAME
Gallinari had himself the basketball equivalent of a perfect game. While only playing 15 minutes, all in the first half, Gallinari had 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and a block while shooting 4-4 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line. Gallinari is looking as healthy and as strong as he has in his career and is proving each night that he is the most important player on the Nuggets roster.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
Malone on how the preseason had gone in his eyes and what is next:
“I loved how we started the game. Ball movement. Big to big. Everyone touched it and I thought the 2nd quarter we got stagnant and dribbled too much but I am very proud of our team and how hard they have worked. But it doesn’t stop. Now the preseason is over and now it is for real.”
The wait is finally over. With the preseason schedule now complete the Nuggets will head to New Orleans and take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans for their first game of the 2016-17 NBA season on October 26. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 PM MST.