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Nuggets surrender fourth quarter lead, lose to Bulls

Nate Timmons Avatar
December 3, 2015


The Nuggets played a pretty good game against the Chicago Bulls, but the result was the same it has been for the previous seven games. The Nuggets drop this one 99-90 and have now lost eight in a row. Leading the way for Denver was Will Barton with 15 points off the bench.

Denver would get 43 of their 90 points from their starters as Randy Foye again proved to be a complete dud replacing the injured Gary Harris (concussion). Foye finished with just 5 points on 1-5 shooting from the field in his 21 minutes of action. Once Barton came into the game, his energy helped change the flow and Michael Malone would be wise to consider just starting Barton if Harris misses any more time.

Along with Foye, Emmanuel Mudiay had a dreadful night in the scoring department with just 4 points on 2-12 shooting in just over 30 minutes of action. Whether it be a lack of looking to score inside or the bad shot selection, Mudiay continues to struggle to get himself going. Mudiay has now failed to score in double-digits in three of his last five games. But it wasn’t all bad for Mudiay, he did get his teammates involved with 7 assists and had this beautiful pass big man Nikola Jokic.

Mudiay’s precision passing can be a thing of beauty, but the struggle for he and the team continues.


United Center – Chicago, IL / Dec. 2nd / Game 19


This has to go to Pau Gasol of the Bulls. He had 24 points, 16 rebounds and just annihilated the Denver front court. Nikola Jokic started the game on Gasol, Joffrey Lauvergne had a shot, Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson. Nobody could stop him and the Nuggets defenders lost him quite a few times from his favorite spot at the top of the key… where he’s virtually automatic.

Gasol shot 6-8 in the first half and 12-19 on the night. For some reason Nuggets head coach Michael Malone benched Jokic for the second half in favor of Hickson. Jokic was 3-6 on the night and only had one foul, but tasted the pine for the rest of the night.

The Bulls also slaughtered the Nuggets on the glass to the tune of 59 rebounds, compared to 47. Chicago was also able to get to 15 offensive rebounds, five coming from Joakim Noah – who had 9 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes.


Here we see Aaron Brooks just hound Mudiay all the way up the floor. This seemed to bother Mudiay who gave up the ball, but immediately went into the post on the smaller guard, but he settled for a hard shot and missed it.  

Right after that miss, Mudiay hustled down floor and got a little revenge on Brooks with the pretty block on his layup attempt here. This was nice to see from Emmanuel.


The Nuggets took a 72-68 lead into the final quarter, but the Bulls outscored the Nuggets 28-17 to take it. With the game tied 79-79, Doug McDermott nailed a three to give the Bulls a lead that they would not relinquish and from that point on the Bulls outscored the Nuggets 20-11.


I tracked the end of quarters for the Nuggets tonight at around the 4:30 marks and here are the results:

1st Quarter: Bulls win 13-6

2nd Quarter: Nuggets win 9-8

3rd Quarter: Nuggets win 11-3

4th Quarter: Bulls win 10-9

Total: Nuggets win the end of quarter game 35-34.



“I can’t emphasize it enough, even in the loss, I really liked who we were tonight,” said Malone. “We had 26 assists and only 7 turnovers. Good ball movement, sharing the ball, we defended at a high level, now we just to make sure we finish off the possession.”


There were some encouraging signs in this one. As Malone noted above, the team did have 26 assists and that number is usually good enough to get a win or be in the game. Denver didn’t get the W, but they did show signs of putting together a complete game and they didn’t get down in the third quarter when the Bulls opened up a little lead. Instead, the Nuggets fought back and took a lead heading into the final quarter.

The Nuggets ran out of answers in the fourth quarter, but again they played pretty well. This contest was better than the previous three games and we’ll see if they can build on it in their next one.


Denver now heads to Toronto to face the Raptors on Thurs., Dec. 3rd at 5:30 p.m. MT.

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