GAL­LI­NARI BACK IN – AND CON­TRIBUT­ING

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

in­di­anapo­lis» Gallo is back.

Nuggets for­ward Danilo Gal­li­nari, out the pre­vi­ous four games while re­cov­er­ing from a left knee bone bruise, was back in the start­ing lineup for Den­ver in its 125-117 win Fri­day over the Pac­ers at Bankers Life Field­house.

Gal­li­nari, who wasn’t on a min­utes re­stric­tion, was in the start­ing lineup and looked like he hadn’t missed a beat to start the game. Den­ver’s lead­ing scorer on the sea­son — at 17.7 points per game — Gal­li­nari fin­ished with 21 points in 35 min­utes.

“I didn’t miss too many games, but I’m very ex­cited,” Gal­li­nari said min­utes be­fore the crit­i­cal matchup against In­di­ana.

Den­ver en­tered the game with a 34-37 record, hold­ing a slim lead over Port­land for the fi­nal play­off spot.

“It’s huge, es­pe­cially against a team in the East, with the West Coast teams watch­ing what we’re do­ing,” Gal­li­nari said. “Ev­ery game is a huge game for us from now on.”

He ad­mit­ted the knee both­ered him as the game wore on.

“Hope­fully, it will get bet­ter,” he said.

Gal­li­nari fin­ished just 2-of-12 from the floor but made up for it at the foul line, hit­ting 17-of-18.

“We were able to get to the free-throw line and get in the bonus in ev­ery quar­ter,” he said. “That’s cru­cial for us.”

Road war­riors.

The Nuggets’ play­off run won’t get the ben­e­fit of much home cook­ing, as they make a play­off push to close out the sea­son. Fri­day’s game against the Pac­ers started a string of eight road games in Den­ver’s fi­nal 11.

Den­ver re­turns to the Pepsi Cen­ter on Sun­day to face the Pel­i­cans in a 6 p.m. game. The Nuggets travel to Port­land on

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