Denver (TSN) – With two game-changing plays down the stretch, Andre Iguodala pushed the Nuggets’ to another victory.
With 0.5 seconds showing, Andre Miller lobbed a pass toward the rim for Iguodala, who drew a foul from Paul George on the play. He then broke a tie game by making the first free throw and then purposely missed the second, forcing the clock to expire and send Denver to a 102-101 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
On the possession prior, Iguodala stole the ball from an isolating George and called timeout, setting up the game-winning play.
“I thought he got fouled. I didn’t think it was a bad call,” said Denver coach George Karl. “In a perfect scenario, he would have come wide open; he came partially open. He threw the ball; Andre [Miller] makes good decisions and he put the ball in a place where I thought he got fouled.”
Iguodala finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in Denver’s fourth straight win and 10th in its last 12 games. Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting and Ty Lawson added 18 points, seven assists and five steals in the victory.
George tallied 23 points and 10 rebounds, but Indiana dropped its third straight contest. Lance Stephenson added 20 points and eight boards in the setback.
“I thought we did a good job fighting back,” said David West, who scored 17 points. “We were right there in the game, we had opportunities, we just didn’t get a chance to decide it.”
The Pacers erased a 14-point fourth quarter deficit over a near five-minute stretch, but couldn’t avoid their first three-game skid since Nov. 5-9.
George Hill, who scored 12, followed George’s four-point play with a running jumper to cap a 17-3 Indiana surge and knot the score at 99-99 with 1:52 to go.
Hill drew a foul on his make, but couldn’t hit the free throw to put the Pacers on top.
Shortly after, Gallinari put Denver back ahead by two with a pair of free throws, but David West answered at the other end for the Pacers with a layup to even the score at 101-101 with 38 seconds left.
Gallinari missed a jumper on the ensuing possession, giving the ball back to Indiana with 17.8 seconds to go, but George, while trying to drive past Iguodala, lost the ball to give Denver the final possession with less than a second remaining.
The Pacers held a nine-point advantage early in the second, but the Nuggets rallied with an 18-8 push, taking the lead on a triple from Gallinari late in the stanza and carried a 55-53 advantage into halftime.
After the Pacers came within 69-68 just past the midway point in the third, the Nuggets began to pull away, as Gallinari converted a three-point play before draining a triple to push the Nuggets’ edge back to seven and they led 82-74 heading into the final stanza.
The Nuggets came into the contest forcing at least 20 turnovers in their last four games, but came away with just 18 on Monday, ending the streak … Corey Brewer scored 18 off the bench for Denver … The Nuggets have beaten the Pacers four straight times and have won 14 of the past 17 matchups.