Jokic, Chandler help Nuggets roll past Pacers in London
Italian star Danilo Gallinari and the Denver Nuggets made themselves right at home at O2 Arena.
Gallinari scored 18 points and had what coach Mike Malone said was easily his best game of the season to help Denver beat the Indiana Pacers 140-112 on Thursday night in the NBA’s Global Games series.
“Just to come back to Europe and play in front of these fans, it was great,” said Gallinari, who wore knee-high socks adorned with the Union Jack and London skyline. “Hopefully, the fans had a good show.”
The Nuggets snapped a five-game losing streak and ended the Pacers’ fivegame winning streak.
“I joked with our guys after the game, ‘I think we’re going to stay here in London and play our home games here,”’ Malone said. “Our guys were very comfortable out there and we had one of our best performances.”
Nikola Jokic had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Wilson Chandler added 21 points for the Nuggets. They outscored the Pacers 39-20 in the third quarter, shooting 73.7 percent in the period to put it away.
Denver trailed only once, when Kevin Seraphin gave the Pacers a 31-30 lead early in the second quarter, and finished with a season high in scoring.
C.J. Miles had 20 points, and Jeff Teague added 14 points and nine assists for Indiana. The Pacers had won five in a row, scoring at least 120 points in each victory.
“We didn’t show up tonight. I don’t have a reason for that,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Denver, they came, showed up and played well, and I didn’t think that we showed up tonight.”
The Nuggets had conceded at least 120 points in each of their five losses, and when Malone asked players before the game what the key to victory would be, Gallinari who spoke up and said defense.
Gallinari, matched oneon-one with Indiana scoring leader Paul George for much of the game, held his counterpart to just 12 points on 2-for-12 shooting.