Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 129, Celtics 98

January, 7, 2014
Jan 7
11:45
PM ET


Rapid reaction after the Denver Nuggets defeated the Boston Celtics 129-98 on Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center:

THE NITTY GRITTY
For the second time in as many games, the Celtics gave up a season high in points, this time watching the Nuggets shoot 51.8 percent overall (43 of 83) and 45.2 percent (14 of 31) beyond the 3-point arc. Randy Foye scored a team-high 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting with seven 3-pointers while adding five rebounds and five assists over 38:45. He was also a game-best plus-31 in plus/minus. Kenneth Faried added 21 points and 13 rebounds, while Ty Lawson kicked in 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets. Jeff Green scored a team-high 17 points to pace five Boston players in double figures. But the Nuggets dominated the game, getting whatever they wanted inside and out against a Boston team that showed little resistance.

TURNING POINT
It took six minutes for Denver to build a double-digit lead. Boston fought back a bit while getting within a possession in the first quarter, but seemed defeated by the time the Nuggets pushed it back to double figures. A little 8-0 burst, punctuated by a Lawson 3-pointer, had the Nuggets out front 55-37 with 5:17 to go in the first half. Denver led by 23 at the intermission and pushed the bulge as high as 32.

SULLINGER EJECTED
Celtics center Jared Sullinger picked up two flagrant-1 fouls in the span of 23 seconds in the third quarter and was ejected from the game. Hop HERE for more on that.

BAYLESS DEBUTS
Jerryd Bayless, formally acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, played 26 minutes in his Boston debut and scored six points on 3-of-11 shooting with three assists and three steals. He hit a nice pull-up jumper to end the first quarter with his first bucket in green, but struggled with his shot from there (missing all three 3-pointers he attempted). He was minus-13 for the night.

LOOSE BALLS
Kris Humphries did not play due to a sprained left ankle and Boston missed both his size and effort level. ... Without Humphries, rookie Vitor Faverani scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds over 15:35. ... In the team's first game since trading away Courtney Lee, Keith Bogans logged 13 minutes and chipped in nine points with a couple of second-half 3-pointers. ... Denver dominated on the glass, 56-35.

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (13-22) have lost five straight and eight of their last nine. Sullinger's ejection showed the frustration level of the team, but the road trip doesn't get any easier. Boston visits the Clippers for the tail end of a back-to-back on Wednesday in Los Angeles, then another back-to-back looms later this week against Golden State and Portland as part of four games in five days.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9