Kenneth Faried showed everyone why he's called the "Manimal" tonight. Faried had 8 boards in his first 8 minutes, and 11 in the first half. He finished with a game-high 16 boards, and had more offensive rebounds (6) than the entire Celtics' squad's 4. Denver had 17 rebounds alone in the 1st quarter, and destroyed the older, slower C's on the glass 46-27 overall and 14-4 offensively. Denver is a deep team with a talented bench. The Celtics' lack of transition defense led to a flurry of Denver breakaway dunks and layups. Denver had 30 points off layups & dunks thru 3 quarters.
Just a solid offensive game up-and-down the roster for Denver. That's why the are 1st in the NBA in points-scored. Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggs with 20, and Faried put-in 18. Denver has a great bench-not superstar names, but guys with various skills that all contribute. They all chipped-in tonight; Al Harrington, a serious-contender for 6th man of the year, had 11 of the Denver bench's 30 points. Marquis Daniels, who got some rare minutes tonight, and Avery were the only two somewhat effective bench-players tonight, each chipping in 8 points Pietrus, Dooling & Stiemsma were all virtual non-factors.
Celtics went on a 9-2 run in the 4th behind KG, Quis (yes, Quis) and some good Celtics defense. It was 87-81 Nuggets with 5:40 left. But the C's just couldn't get stops and only made 3 field-goals in the final 5:05 of the game. Nuggets just had more energy and came-out with the goal to run the Celtics up and down the floor, which they did most of the night. Denver had 21 fastbreak points and 36 points on layups and dunks.
KG (more on him in a minute) co-led Boston with 22, Pierce also put-in 22. Ray and Bass both struggled; Ray did not have a three-pointer tonight and was 0 and 6 from downtown & 3 of 10 altogether for 7 points. Bass went for 6 points on 2 of 9 shooting. Rondo was solid with 12 pts & 16 dimes.
C's are now 2-3 on this grueling road-trip, and are off until Monday when they face the Hawks in Atlanta.
One bright-spot tonight: Kevin Garnett became one of only 3 players in NBA history to record 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists. His pass to Rondo w/7:46 left in the 1st solidified his place in NBA history. He joins Karl Malone & Kareem as a member of the 20, 10 & 5 club. Sean Grande noted before tonight's game that KG also has 1,500 blocks & 1,500 steals. He stands alone in that club.