GAME #67 – TORONTO RAPTORS (36-30) at DENVER NUGGETS (40-27)
SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022 – 9 P.M. (ET) – BALL ARENA
TV: TSN – RADIO: TSN 1050 TORONTO
INJURY REPORT AT 5:30 P.M.
Barton, Will Questionable Injury/Illness – Left Ankle; Sprain
Cancar, Vlatko Out Injury/Illness – Right Foot; Surgery
Gordon, Aaron Questionable Injury/Illness – Right Foot; Soreness
Hyland, Bones Probable Injury/Illness – Right Knee; Soreness
Murray, Jamal Out Injury/Illness – Left Knee; Injury Recovery
Nnaji, Zeke Questionable Injury/Illness – Bilateral Knee; Soreness
Porter Jr., Michael Out Injury/Illness – Lumbar Spine; Surgery
Anunoby, OG Out Injury/Illness – Right Hand; Ring finger fracture
Bonga, Isaac Out G League – On Assignment
Champagnie, Justin Out G League – Two-Way
Flynn, Malachi Out Injury/Illness – Left Hamstring; Strain
Johnson, David Out G League – Two-Way
VanVleet, Fred Questionable Injury/Illness – Right Knee; Soreness
• The Toronto Raptors (36-30) continue a six-game road trip (March 6-16) with the second game of a backto-back set Saturday night against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. The Raptors have won two in a row and are now 4-5 since the All-Star break.
• Pascal Siakam recorded his team-leading 21st double-double of the season with 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 41 minutes Friday against the Suns. Siakam has now scored 20+ points in five straight
games (Mar. 3-11). He is averaging 26.2 points and shooting 50 percent (48-96) from the field, including .412 (7-17) from beyond the arc, during this stretch.
• Despite missing 12 games this season, Fred VanVleet (213) currently ranks third in the NBA in three-point field goals – behind only Stephen Curry (275) and Buddy Hield (217). VanVleet needs 25 threes in the final
16 games to surpass Kyle Lowry’s single-season franchise record of 238 three-pointers set during the 2017-18 campaign. VanVleet has made five-or-more threes in 19 games this season.
• Pascal Siakam is averaging 21.6 points, and career bests of 8.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists, in 53 games this season. Siakam is one of just seven players in the NBA averaging 20.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists, along with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Dejounte Murray
and Julius Randle. No Raptor has averaged 20-8-5 over the course of an entire season.
• Scottie Barnes finished with 15 points, six rebounds and a season high-tying five steals in 37 minutes Friday at Phoenix. Barnes recorded five steals in a game for the third time this season – the most by a rookie since Lonzo Ball and Ben Simmons both did it three times in 2017-18.
• Toronto outrebounded the Suns 48-40, including 12-5 on the offensive glass, Friday night. The Raptors (13.1) currently rank second in the NBA in offensive rebounds. Toronto is +24 (81-57) on the offensive glass through six games in March and has collected a league-best 81 offensive boards this month.
• Gary Trent Jr. tied a season high with 42 points (13-21 FG, 8-11 3PT, 8-8 FT) – two shy of his career high in Friday’s victory at Phoenix. Trent Jr. also matched his career best with eight rebounds.
GARY TRENT JR. – SEASON SPLITS
GAMES PPG FG% 3PT% 30-POINT GAMES
ROAD 29 21.0 .441 .412 7
HOME 28 15.5 .389 .346 2
• Scottie Barnes was named Eastern Conference rookie of the month for February after averaging 15.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 31.8 minutes in 12 games last month. Barnes is the 11th player in franchise history to earn the honour.
F – SCOTTIE BARNES #4
MIN: 35.4 REB: 7.6 AST: 3.2 STL: 1.2 TO: 1.9 BLK: 0.8 PTS: 15.0
• Recorded 15 points, six rebounds and a season high-tying five steals in 37 minutes Mar. 11 at Phoenix.
• Ranks third among rookies in rebounds (7.6), fourth in scoring (15.0) and first in minutes (35.4).
• Has scored 20+ points 14 times – most by a Raptors rookie since Vince Carter (23) during the 1998-99 season.
F – PASCAL SIAKAM #43
MIN: 37.6 REB: 8.4 AST: 5.1 STL: 1.3 TO: 2.7 BLK: 0.7 PTS: 21.6
• Finished with 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 41 minutes Mar. 11 at Phoenix.
• Leads the Raptors with a career-high 21 double-doubles this season.
• Averaging 24.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists through six games in March.
C – KHEM BIRCH #24
MIN: 18.4 REB: 4.4 AST: 1.1 STL: 0.7 TO: 0.6 BLK: 0.5 PTS: 4.6
• Contributed four points and six rebounds in 26 minutes of action Mar. 11 at Phoenix.
• Has scored in double figures four times this season (Last: 11 – Mar. 1 vs. Brooklyn).
• Averaging 5.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 18.7 minutes in 17 games as a starter this season.
G – GARY TRENT JR. #33
MIN: 34.8 REB: 2.7 AST: 2.0 STL: 1.8 TO: 1.1 BLK: 0.3 PTS: 18.3
• Tied a season best with 42 points Mar. 11 at Phoenix; also tied a career high with eight rebounds in 40 minutes.
• Ranks third in the NBA in both steals per game (1.82) and total deflections (205).
• Leads the team with 104 steals this season; had 105 steals in his first three seasons (2018-21) combined.
G – FRED VANVLEET #23
MIN: 38.1 REB: 4.6 AST: 6.8 STL: 1.6 TO: 2.7 BLK: 0.5 PTS: 21.3
• Tallied 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes Mar. 11 at Phoenix.
• Leads the NBA in minutes per game (38.1) – has logged 40+ minutes in 15 games.
• The Raptors are 12-4 this season when VanVleet scores 25+ points.
OG Anunoby (Right Hand; Ring Finger – Fracture) – Out
Isaac Bonga (G League – On Assignment) – Out
Justin Champagnie (G League – Two-Way) – Out
Malachi Flynn (Left Hamstring; Strain) – Out
David Johnson (G League – Two-Way) – Out
UPDATED: Mar. 12, 2022
W-L EAST WEST
OVERALL 36-30 23-19 13-11
HOME 17-15 11-9 6-6
AWAY 19-15 12-10 7-5
OVERTIME 2-1 2-1 0-0
NEXT GAME DETAILS
Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers
Date: Monday, March 14
Tip-Off: 10:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Crypto.com Arena
Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN
SERIES RECAP VS. LOS ANGELES
OVERALL HOME ROAD
2020-21 1-1 0-1 1-0
ALL-TIME 20-29 11-14 9-15
STREAKS Won 1 Lost 1 Won 6
LAST WIN: May 2, 2021 (121-114)
LAST ROAD WIN: May 2, 2021 (121-114)
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +33 (Dec. 2, 2016)
LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -20 (Jan. 6, 2002)
LAST TIME VS. LOS ANGELES
GAME 65 – MAY 2, 2021
TORONTO 121, LA LAKERS 114
LOS ANGELES – Kyle Lowry had 37 points and 11 assists, Pascal
Siakam had 39 points and 13 rebounds and the short-handed Toronto
Raptors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 121-114 … LeBron James had
19 points, seven rebounds and six assists before going back to the locker
room with 6:42 to play … It was the second game back for James after
missing 20 because of a sprained right ankle … Toronto ended a three-game losing streak despite not having Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Chris
Boucher and Gary Trent Jr. available because of injuries or to rest …
DeAndre’ Bembry had 14 points off the bench and the Raptors led by as
many as 21 … Kyle Kuzma had 24 points for Los Angeles, Anthony Davis
chipped in with 12 and Andre Drummond had 19 points and 11 rebounds
… After trailing by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, the Raptors
led 72-59 at the half after blitzing the Lakers for 40 points in the second …
A rampaging Lowry had 13, including the final seven points for Toronto
going into the locker room, and Bembry chipped in with 11 … The Lakers
got back within 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Lowry responded
with a personal 8-2 run … Lowry was 8 for 13 from 3-point range and 12
for 20 overall …Kuzma hit a 3 with 58.8 seconds to play to cut Toronto’s
lead to six before Bembry and Siakam hit free throws to seal it.
1 2 3 4 TOT
TORONTO 32 40 27 22 121
LA LAKERS 38 21 25 30 114
GAME 66 – MARCH 11, 2022
TORONTO 117, PHOENIX 112
PHOENIX — Gary Trent Jr. scored 42 points and the Toronto Raptors
held off the Phoenix Suns, beating the NBA’s leading team 117-112 …
Trent was 8 from 11 from 3-point range and 13 of 21 from the floor … He
fell just short of his career high of 44 points set last season … He also had
eight rebounds … Pascal Siakam added 25 points and 10 assists for the
Raptors, and Scottie Barnes had 15 points … The Raptors improved to 36-
30, winning two straight after dropping three in a row … That coincides
with the return of Fred VanVleet, who missed five games with a knee
injury … VanVleet had 10 points and eight rebounds … Cameron Payne
had 24 points for the Suns, and Devin Booker had 22 … Booker missed
two 3-point attempts in the final minute and was held to three points in the
fourth quarter … Mikael Bridges scored 18 points for Phoenix, DeAndre
Ayton had 16 and Jae Crowder 13 … The Suns fell to 53-14 … Toronto
opened up a 96-82 lead through three quarters … But the Suns rallied with
a 20-6 run to tie it at 102 with 4:36 remaining … With 3:27 left in the third
quarter, Booker fouled Precious Achiuwa on a drive to the basket … Booker was assessed a flagrant foul (penalty one) … Achiuwa made two free
throws and Fred VanVleet made a 3-pointer to give Toronto its biggest
lead to that point at 83-71 … The Raptors led by 16 in the period.
1 2 3 4 TOT
TORONTO 30 26 40 21 117
PHOENIX 24 28 30 30 112
NUGGETS LAST GAME STARTERS
POS. NO. PLAYER PPG RPG APG NOTABLES
F 50 Aaron Gordon
6-8, 235 14.5 5.7 2.5
Tallied 28 points (9-17 FG’s, 10-15 FT’s), 8
rebounds and 2 assists in 43 minutes vs. NOP
on 3/6 … Has scored 15+ points in 7 of the
last 18 games.
F 32 Jeff Green
6-8 235 10.4 3.2 1.3
Posted 11 points (3-5 FG’s, 5-5 FT’s), 5
rebounds and 1 assist in 29 minutes vs. GSW
on 3/10 … Has scored 14+ points in 7 of the
last 20 games.
C 15 Nikola Jokić
7-0, 284 26.1 13.9 8.1
Registered 23 points (9-21 FG’s), 12
rebounds and 9 assists vs. GSW on 3/10 …
Had a triple double in 11 of the last 25 games
… 7th all-time with 75 career triple doubles.
6.2 1.7 1.2
Tallied 15 points (6-12 FGs, 2-6 3FGs), 4
assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds vs. GSW on
3/7 vs. GSW … Shooting .332 from three this
G 11 Monte Morris
6-2, 183 13.0 3.0 4.3
Posted 19 points (8-14 FG’s, 3-5 3 FG’s), 5
rebounds and 1 assist in 30 minutes vs. GSW
on 3/10 … Shooting 41.8% from three over
his last 12 games.
DENVER NUGGETS STAFF
Head Coach: Michael Malone (Loyola-MD) Assistant Coaches: David Adelman (Portland), Jordi Fernandez
(Inefc Lleida), Popeye Jones (Murray State), Ryan Bowen (Iowa), Charles Klask (Michigan State), John Beckett
(Eckerd College), Ognjen Stojakovic; Player Development: Stephen Graham (Oklahoma State), Boniface N’Dong
Special Assistant to the Head Coach: Andrew Munson (Iowa) Assistant Video Coordinator: Conor Griffin
(Washington) Video Room Associate: Jordan Bickerstaff (Whittier College) VP of Sports Medicine: Steve Short
(Dayton) Head Athletic Trainer: Dan Shimensky (Utah) Associate Head Athletic Trainer: Jason Miller (Iowa)
Director of Performance/Head Strength and Conditioning Coach: Felipe Eichenberger (N.W. Oklahoma State
University) Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach: Claus Antunes de Souza (Tulsa) Director of Sport
Science/Physical Therapist: Matt Tuttle (Syracuse).
NUGGETS 2021-22 RECORDS
RECORD HOME ROAD OT
OVERALL: 40-27 20-12 20-15 3-0 OVERALL: Loss 1
WESTERN: 25-19 12-7 13-12 3-0 HOME: Loss 1
EASTERN: 15-8 8-5 7-3 — ROAD: Won 5
JAMAL MURRAY – LEFT KNEE INJURY RECOVERY. OUT.
MICHAEL PORTER JR. – LUMBAR SPINE SURGERY. OUT.
VLATKO CANCAR – RIGHT FOOT SURGERY. OUT.
WILL BARTON – LEFT ANKLE SPRAIN. QUESTIONABLE.
ZEKE NNAJI – BILATERAL KNEE SORENESS. QUESTIONABLE.
AARON GORDON – RIGHT FOOT SORENESS. QUESTIONABLE.
BONES HYLAND – RIGHT KNEE SORENESS. PROBABLE.
ON THE AIR
Tonight’s game will be televised on Altitude with Chris Marlowe and Scott Hastings on the call. Jason
Kosmicki, the voice of the Nuggets will call the game on Altitude Radio 92.5.
2/25/22: Signed DeMarcus Cousins for the remainder for the season … 1/21/22: Signed DeMarcus Cousins to a 10-day contract … 1/19/22: Acquired Bryn Forbes via three team
trade with Boston and San Antonio in exchange for Bol Bol and P.J. Dozier … 1/19/22: Waived James Ennis III … 1/10/22: Signed James Ennis III to a 10-day contract … 1/10/22:
Waived Carlik Jones and Rayjon Tucker … 1/1/22: Signed Carlik Jones to a 10-day contract … 12/31/21: Signed Rajon Tucker to a 10-day contract … 12/30/21: Signed Davon Reed
to Exhibit 10 contract … 12/4/21: Signed Davon Reed to Exhibit 10 contract … 11/23/21: Recalled Vlatko Cancar from the G League … 11/18/21: Assigned Vlatko Cancar to the G
League … 11/17/21: Recalled Petr Cornelie from the G League … 10/16/21: Waived Nik Stauskas … 10/15/21: Waived Davon Reed, Tarik Black and Giorgi Bezhanishvili … 10/11/21:
Signed Giorgi Bezhanishvili … 10/11/21: Waived Matt Ryan … 9/29/21: Signed Michael Porter Jr. to a contract extension … 9/28/21: Re-signed Aaron Gordon … 9/18/21: Signed
Petr Cornelie to a two-way contract … 8/31/21: Signed Austin Rivers … 8/18/21: Re-Signed JaMychal Green … 8/11/21: Signed Jeff Green … 8/11/21: Re-signed Will Barton …
8/4/21: Drafted Bones Hyland.
STARTING TO ROLL….
The Nuggets are starting to find their stride as the season ramps up and playoff positioning begins. Denver took down Sacramento Kings 106-100 on the road on 3/9, winning
their third game in four nights and it marked their 10th win in the last 11 games. In those 11 games, the Nuggets are averaging 119.4 points on 49.3% shooting, 28.7 assists
per game, 26.9 free throw attempts a game and have a +7.0-score differential. If you go back further, to January 23rd, the Nuggets are 17-5 which marks the third
best record in the NBA in that span (Celtics 17-3, Suns 16-4).
THREE POINT KING THRILL
Will Barton is the longest tenured Nugget on the roster, spending eight seasons in Denver and he
has certainly left his mark on the franchise. Barton has gone from a second-round draft pick who
was knocked for his jumper to becoming the Nuggets all-time leader in three-point field goals.
Barton is just the second player in team history to eclipse 700+ threes in a career.
The Nuggets were without Nikola Jokic due to a non-covid illness for their home matchup against the Houston Rockets on 3/4 and DeMarcus Cousins stepped in and played
his best game in a Nuggets uniform. Boogie posted a season-high 31 points (10-14 FG, 3-4 3FG, 8-9 FT), nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in just 24 minutes,
leading the Nuggets to a 116-101 win. His 31 points in 24 minutes, were the fewest minutes in a 30+ point game in Nuggets NBA franchise history and the third
fewest minutes played in a 30+ point game in his career. Some other highlights from his big night:
• Third career game recording 30 points in 35 minutes or fewer, matching Freeman Williams for the most such games in the shot clock era (since 1954-55).
• 11th career game with 31+ points, 9+ rebounds, 4+ assists and 3+ steals.
• Scored 30+ points for the first time since 1/22/18 vs. CHI.
• Made a season-high 10 FGs and a season-high three 3FGs.
BOOGIE ON DOWN
DeMarcus Cousins time with the Nuggets has become exactly what the team was looking for to help solidify their second unit. The big man signed for the remainder of the
season on 2/25 and then dominated the Trail Blazers bench on 2/27, finishing with 19 points on 7-10 shooting, eight rebounds, six assists and one steal in just 18 minutes,
helping the Nuggets win 124-92. He is the only NBA player in the last 35 seasons to post those numbers while playing 20 minutes or less.
Additionally, the Nuggets have won 11 of 12 games when Cousins sees the court to begin his stint in Denver. In those 12 games for Denver, he is
averaging 9.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 14.6 minutes per game.
The Nuggets and the city of Denver are lucky to have Michael Malone. Malone has helped lead the Nuggets ascension
in the Western Conference since taking over in the 2016 and the wins have piled up. With their 128-110 victory over
the Sacramento Kings on 2/24, Coach Malone won his 300th game as the Head Coach of the Denver Nuggets,
becoming only the third coach in franchise history to have at least 300 wins.
REBOUNDING = SUCCESS
The Nuggets returned home to Ball Arena in their final home game before the All-Star break and they didn’t disappoint the home fans, beating the Orlando Magic 121-111.
Denver had all five starters score in double figures, winning 28 of the last 32 games when that has occurred. The Nuggets also outrebounded the Magic 52-42, moving to 22-8
on the season when they outrebound an opponent.
The 52 total rebounds were significant, as it marked the fifth straight game the Nuggets have grabbed 50+ rebounds (4-1). It is the longest streak with
50+ boards since April 1991 and the second longest all-time in franchise history (six games in a row, done November 1976).
The Nuggets have played a Western Conference leading 31 road games as of 2/12 and
they added to their win total, taking down the Toronto Raptors 110-109 on February 12th
The Nuggets defense held strong in the second half allowing 52 points including a game
sealing Nikola Jokić block as time expired. For the game, they held the Raptors to 48.9%
shooting from the field.
Denver is quietly building an impressive road streak, the win against the
Raptors marked the 17th road game in which the Nuggets have held their opponent to under 50% shooting from the field. It marks the second longest streak in
franchise history, with the longest stretching 37 games done from 11/30/93-11/11/94.
TALE OF TWO HALVES
The Nuggets snapped their three-game losing streak with a 124-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on 2/6. The story of the game was how the Nuggets flipped in the second
half and looked like a new team from the first half. After allowing 75 points in the first half, Denver held Brooklyn to just 29 points in the second half. It was a season-low
allowed by Denver in the second half and the first time doing so since 12/9/13 at WAS. It also marked the 11th time in franchise history holding an opponent to 29
or fewer points in the second half.
The Nuggets also handed out 37 assists, their second most this season, and are now 25-9 when having 25+ assists and 11- 4 when dishing out 30+
assists this season.
FIVE STRAIGHT TO END JANUARY
The Nuggets continued their winning ways on the road on their current six game road trip. Denver took down the Milwaukee Bucks 136-100 on 1/30, winning their fifth straight
game. It also marked their fourth straight win on the road, the longest streak since winning six in a row in February/March 2021. The Nuggets made 23 threes in the game,
tying for the third most made in team history and hade nine players knock down at least one 3FG. Denver is now 11-0 all time when making at least 20 threes in game.
They also dished out 39 assists, the 40th time in team history with that many (just 11th since 1991, 11-0 in those game). The Nuggets end January with
11 wins, their fourth straight year with 11+ wins in January. In the first 42 years in team history, Denver had a total of 11+ wins in January only six times.
NUGGETS FRANCHISE HISTORY – CAREER THREE POINT FG’S
RANK/PLAYER # OF THREES
- Will Barton 771
- J.R. Smith 768
- Jamal Murray 673
NUGGETS HEAD COACHES – ALL-TIME WINS
COACH # OF WINS SEASONS
- Doug Moe 432 10
- George Karl 423 9
- Michael Malone 303 7
CONSECUTIVE ROAD GAMES HOLDING OPP. TO UNDER 50% SHOOTING
STREAK START/STREAK END # OF GAMES
- 11/30/93-11/11/94 37
- 12/11/21-2/12/22 17
- 11/25/00-2/3/01 17
BENCH GOES, WE GO
It’s no coincidence that when the Nuggets bench plays well, that usually means good things. They did exactly that on 1/26 at BKN, helping Denver secure a 124-118 road win.
The second unit accounted for 51 points, marking the fifth time this season that the bench has had 50+ points in game and the third time in last eight games.
Austin Rivers led the way for the second unit, putting up a season-high 25 points on 8-11 FG’s and 7-10 3FG’s and two steals in 26 minutes. Rivers became the
first Nuggets reserve since Will Barton (3/16/17) to make 7+ threes in a game and the first to do so on the road since J.R. Smith in 2010.
The Nuggets finally have their first extended home stand of the season and so far, they have made the most of it. Denver has opened with three wins against the Trail Blazers
Lakers and Clippers. Their shot making and ball movement has been elite, helping them achieve two impressive streaks. Denver made 23 three-pointers on 1/15 vs. LAL, the
second most made threes in franchise history. The previous game vs. POR on 1/13, the Nuggets knocked down 21, marking the first time in franchise history Denver has
made 20+ threes in back-to-back games and just the 28th time in NBA history a team has accomplished that feat.
The Nuggets also had a season-high tying 35 assists against the Lakers, followed by 31 assists against the Clippers on 1/19, improving to 9-2 when handing out
30+ assists and 19-6 when having 25+ assists in a game. It also marked the third straight game Denver had 35+ assists, the first time doing that since December
GETTING BIZZY WITH IT
When Bones Hyland is playing well, that usually means the Nuggets are succeeding and that was exactly the case vs. LAL on 1/15. The rookie had the best game of his career,
posting career-highs in points (27), rebounds (10), minutes played (34), field-goal attempts (15), three-point field goals (6), three-point attempts (10) and tied career-highs in
steals (2), field goals (8), free throws (5) and free throw attempts (5). It also marked Hyland’s first career double-double
Hyland is the only rookie in the NBA this season to post 27+ points, 10+ rebounds, 2+ assists and 2+ steals … The Nuggets are now 9-0 when Hyland scores 10+
points. Finally, Bones joins Will Barton and Wilson Chandler as just the third Nugget to come off the bench and post 27+ points with 6+ made three-pointers.
SECOND UNIT STEPS UP
The Nuggets bench hasn’t been a strong suit for Denver this season with lineups being interchanged often due to injuries or COVID protocols. However, the bench was fantastic
on 1/13 vs. Portland helping the Nuggets cruise to a 140-108 home victory. The 140 points marked a season-high and it was the first time scoring 140+ points in a non-overtime
game since scoring 146 vs. the Pelicans on 11/17/17. The bench was led by Facundo Campazzo who posted 18 points (7-10 FG, 3-6 3FG), a season-high tying 12 assists and
four steals in 27 minutes for his second double-double of the year.
Campazzo became just the fifth reserve in the NBA since 1980-81 to have 18+ points, 12+ assists and 4+ steals, joining Mike Gale, Clyde Drexler, Brevin Knight
and Jrue Holiday. The other strong performance from the second unit came from Bones Hyland who posted 17 points (6-12 FG, 5-8 3FG), four rebounds and three
assists in 23 minutes Bones has proven to be a key to the Nuggets success as they are now 8-0 this season when Bones scores 10+ points.
Austin Rivers tenure in Oklahoma City years ago was minimal, as he never suited up for the Thunder after being included in a trade and later waived. But Rivers had his best
game of the season at OKC on 1/9. He helped the Nuggets win 99-95, as he posted a season-high 22 points (8-13 FG’s, 6-9 3FG’s), a season-high tying five rebounds and one
assist in 30 minutes.
It was the fifth time this season a reserve has scored 20+ for the Nuggets (done by five different players). Rivers was on fire from long distance, connecting on
six threes, making at least one each quarter. Denver is now 35-7 all time when a bench player makes six or more threes in game.
FACUNDO THE MAGICIAN
The pride of Cordoba, Argentina saw his second start of the season at Houston on 1/1 due to a COVID depleted team. Campazzo dazzled on the court all night, leading the
Nuggets in multiple categories, helping them win 124-111 for their third straight road victory. Campazzo finished with a career-high 22 points (7-11 FG’s, 3-5 3FG’s), a careerhigh tying 12 assists, a career-high tying five steals and four rebounds in 34 minutes. He had an historic night, becoming the first Nuggets guard with 22+ points, 10+
assists and 5+ steals in a game since Allen Iverson in 2008.
Facundo Campazzo and Monte Morris have both stepped up when the Nuggets have
needed them. They are a big reason why Denver has been able to stay afloat early in
the season while getting hit with a serious injury bug. Campazzo and Morris helped
lead the Nuggets to a 133-115 road victory over the Atlanta Hawks on 12/17. Denver
had a season-high 35 assists and had six players score in double figures.
MATINEE AT THE MECCA
The Nuggets seven game road trip rolled along with an afternoon contest against the New York Knicks on 12/4. Denver got their second win of the trip, in blowout fashion,
winning wire-to-wire 113-99. It marked the 13th win in the last 14 meetings against the Knicks. The Nuggets were led by Nikola Jokić who had 32 points, 11 rebounds and five
assists in just 27 minutes, the Joker helped put the game away by having a 15-point third quarter. The bench unit was led by Zeke Nnaji’s career night, who finished with
a career-high 21 points (7-13 FG’s, 5-9 3FG’s), eight rebounds and two steals in a career-high 34 minutes.
Denver made 20 three’s in the game, tying for the fifth most in Nuggets history, with all nine players who attempted one making at least one.
BACK ON TRACK
The Nuggets went through one of their roughest patches in recent years, losing six straight games but quickly put a stop to that streak in South Beach on 11/29. Nikola
Jokić returned to action after missing four games due to right wrist sprain and it made all the difference, leading the Nugget to a 120-111 win. It was a balanced scoring
attack for Denver as seven players scored 10+ points. But the big man led the way, posting 24 points on 9-14 shooting, 15 rebounds and seven assists in 33 minutes.
The Nuggets are now 47-10 all time when the Joker gets 15+ rebounds. Jokić has four games this season with 24+ points, 15+ rebounds and 7+ assists,
while the rest of the NBA have combined for four such games