BIG RUNS ARE CAUSING COACH STRESS
It wasn’t supposed to be a stressful final 12 minutes in Indianapolis for the Nuggets on Friday night.
Denver held a 94-75 lead over the Indiana Pacers heading into the fourth quarter. The Nuggets to that point had limited Indiana to 45 percent shooting from the field, including 5-of13 from 3-point range.
But in the fourth quarter, the Pacers scored 42 points and hit eight 3pointers, closing a 23point lead to just five in the final minutes before the Nuggets held on.
The Nuggets are 26-8 this season when leading at halftime, but they’ve seen large leads come perilously close to slipping away several times recently. Big runs are part of the NBA game, of course, but coach Michael Malone said there are things the Nuggets must do to limit the impact of such stretches.
“Offensively, it’s staying aggressive and not playing tentatively,” Malone said. “You still want to play the way that got you the lead — but within that you also want to be disciplined and not be foolhardy with turnovers and poor shot selection.
“Defensively, you can’t just play the scoreboard. You saw that the other night. You know a team is going to make a comeback or a run at some point, but we just let them do whatever they wanted and made too many mistakes down the stretch that you don’t want to see right now.”
The first of three chances over the next two weeks for the Nuggets to