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Nuggets shade Suns behind Wilson Chandler's 28 points

Harrison Wind Avatar
November 17, 2016

 

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DENVER — In a regular season that so far has consisted of small victories, the Denver Nuggets can check another box off tonight as they earned their first home win of the year, a 120-104 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.

“Very happy to get the monkey off our back,” a relieved Michael Malone said. “Get that first home win.”

Denver’s first win at Pepsi Center this season was a game they controlled from the start. The Nuggets, who have struggled in first quarters this year, inserted Kenneth Faried into the starting lineup three games ago, and the results have spoken for themselves.

“I thought Kenneth Faried made a couple of plays that really helped the outcome,” Malone said. “He gets on the floor for what you call a 50-50 ball, gets us out on the break and we get a 3-point play. Very next possession he takes a charge.”

His discipline is catching up with his athleticism,” Malone continued.

Faried, who came off the bench in Denver’s first eight games of the season, finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and set the tone from the jump tonight. He’s also been a part of the unit Malone has closed games with often and tonight made sure the Nuggets held onto their lead which was cut to 98-90 with seven minutes remaining. From there, Denver’s closing lineup led by Faried, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler took over.

“Fourth-quarter, I just have a different mindset,” Faried said. “It’s winning time.”

Not to be outdone by Faried’s standout game of the season, Chandler poured in a season-high 28 points on 11-22 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.

“He’s like a security blanket,” Malone said of Chandler. “I probably played him too many minutes, 35 minutes, but we needed a win. We played this game like we needed to get a win and we’ll try to rest out guys a little bit tomorrow before we play Toronto. Wilson’s a hell of a player and he’s been playing at a very high level for us. I’m glad he’s healthy.”

Emmanuel Mudiay, who came into tonight plagued with turnover troubles turned in his most responsible game of the season. Mudiay was in control for all of the 38 minutes he spent on the floor, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, six assists, and more importantly, zero turnovers.

“I thought he kind of let the game come to him,” Malone said of Mudiay. “He made some big plays down the stretch. Didn’t try to force things, he was moving the ball, making plays for his teammates.”

 WHERE/WHEN

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado | November 16, 2016 | Game No. 11

NUGGETS STAR OF THE GAME

Chandler continues to be the Most Valuable Player on the Nuggets’ roster and Denver is simply a different team with him on the floor. Chandler’s 35 minutes were a season-high and well-deserved.

BY THE NUMBERS

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PLAYS OF THE GAME

Faried’s defense leads to the Mudiay run-out

Faried on the glass

ISO-Chandler

Faried’s follow

QUOTE OF THE GAME

Malone on Mudiay’s zero turnovers:

“We addressed it a little after the Portland game. Obviously, in order to get an assist, guys have to make shots and we haven’t been shooting the ball great. I just wanted him to have more of an understanding, be a playmaker first. He played 37 minutes tonight. The ball is going to be in your hands a ton, but look to get other guys involved.”

WHAT’S NEXT

Denver stays home for their next three games against Toronto, Utah, and Chicago

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