|Date of game: 2/4/2015
Recap: Boston vs. Denver
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics used a balanced attack to edge the Denver Nuggets, 104-100, on Wednesday.
Avery Bradley and Marcus Thornton each scored 17 points to pace the Celtics in their second straight win while Tyler Zeller, Jae Crowder and Jared Sullinger all chipped in with 14 points.
"He was solid once he got his rhythm," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Sullinger.
Denver trailed for much of the game but took a late and brief lead before ultimately falling to its fourth straight loss and 11th in its last 12 games.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 23 points and eight assists, Arron Afflalo scored 18, and Kenneth Faried contributed 17 points and 11 boards.
Boston opened the fourth quarter with five points in the opening minute to extend its lead back to 10, but Denver soon scored on six straight trips down the floor to pull within 92-90.
"I liked our effort a lot better in the second half," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "We finally defended in the third and fourth quarters."
A minute later, Wilson Chandler's pair of free throws tied the game for the first time since early in the second quarter.
With three minutes to play, Faried's bucket gave the Nuggets' their first lead since the first half. Brandon Bass responded with a jumper at the other end, and Denver would not lead again.
On back-to-back possessions with less than 30 seconds remaining, the Nuggets committed turnovers that sealed the game. Marcus Smart's missed free throws with 15 seconds left gave them life, but Lawson and Afflalo each missed 3- pointers in the closing seconds.
Boston trailed 29-26 after one quarter despite shooting over 50 percent. An 8-0 Nuggets run capped by two Jusuf Nurkic baskets gave Denver an 18-10 lead with 6 1/2 minutes to play, but Thornton's 3 in the closing seconds cut the Celtics' deficit to three points.
In the second period, the Celtics shot 7-of-8 from long range while limiting the Nuggets to 33.3 percent from the floor. Denver went nearly five minutes without hitting a shot during a 17-6 Boston run that led to a 61-51 lead at halftime for the Celtics.
The Nuggets gradually cut into Boston's lead in the third quarter. Lawson scored 12 points, and Denver limited the Celtics to 27.6 percent shooting in the period. Despite the struggles, the Celtics still led 83-78 after three.Game Notes
Smart led the Celtics with 10 rebounds and eight assists ... Boston swept the
season series ... Denver is 0-8 against Atlantic Division opponents ... Zeller
replaced Sullinger in the starting lineup when Sullinger was late to the arena
for the second time in three games ... Between the first and second quarters,
Boston honored the Super Bowl-champion New England Patriots.