GALLINARI BACK IN – AND CONTRIBUTING
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.”
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