The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

Just when the Nuggets got one point guard — Em­manuel Mu­diay — back, they lost an­other.

Jameer Nelson missed Sun­day’s game with a strained right hip flexor. As was the case when Nelson was in and Mu­diay out, Randy Foye was the re­serve point guard.

Nelson is day to day with the in­jury.

He had seen lots of play­ing time re­cently, start­ing in place of Mu­diay for the 14 games the rookie missed. Dur­ing that time, Nelson played an av­er­age of 32.1 min­utes, about five per game more than his sea­son av­er­age. So in to­tal, Nelson was on the court about 70 more min­utes than he usu­ally would have been. That, for a 34-year-old vet­eran, can take its toll. He suf­fered the in­jury Fri­day night late in a game at Mem­phis.

Nelson played well in place of Mu­diay, av­er­ag­ing 10.1 points, and had a 6-to-1 as­sist-to-turnover ra­tio in that span.

Also out for Sun­day’s game was Ken­neth Faried, who re­mained with fam­ily af­ter the birth of his baby girl — Ken­zie Brielle Faried Lewis on Satur­day.

“We wish them well, very happy for the birth of their new­est daugh­ter Ken­zie, and look for­ward to hav­ing him back as soon as pos­si­ble,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

De­fense im­prov­ing?

Go­ing into Sun­day’s game, the Nuggets were trend­ing in the right di­rec­tion de­fen­sively. It’s not a co­in­ci­dence that the im­prove­ment came af­ter the team got some prac­tice days, though there is more room for im­prove­ment.

“We’ve been able to hold teams un­der 40 per­cent and lower points al­lowed,” Malone said. “The de­fense has been bet­ter. Part of that is who we’ve played and how they play.”

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