Only a short slate of three games were scheduled for Tuesday night in the Association, however, with competitive teams taking the floor, there was no shortage of headlines and highlights.
The Nuggets lose their fourth straight
After missing the 2018 Playoffs by a thread, everybody expected the Denver Nuggets to be a high seed for the 2019 postseason. The young team certainly lived up to those expectations through the first ten games of the season, going 9-1, however, it's been downhill since then.
Coming off that hot start, they have lost their past four games, with the latest coming against the Houston Rockets. If the streak of losses isn't surprising enough, what's more confusing is that three of these four losses have come at home at the Pepsi Center, an arena expected to give the home team a huge advantage due to its high elevation from sea level. Last year, the young Denver franchise was 31-10 at home.
James Harden tallies 22 PTS, 11 ASTS in the @HoustonRockets win in Denver! #Rockets pic.twitter.com/JL6Xi9Gg9s- NBA (@NBA) November 14, 2018
Against the Rockets, on Tuesday night, it was just a 1-point game at halftime but the visitors opened it up outscoring them by 11 in the third quarter and Houston never let go of that advantage for the rest of the second half. When studying the team comparison stats, the Nuggets weren't hugely outplayed in any particular category. The Rockets just made more buckets - +2 from beyond the arc and +6 from the free-throw line (10 points).
After playing five of their previous six at home, the Nuggets are now headed to off to play four of their next six on the road. Meanwhile, the Rockets, who improved to 6-7 for the season, were without Carmelo Anthony for the third straight game and now head back home to face the Golden State Warriors on Friday, the first of three home games over an 8-day period.
Another third quarter run wins it for the Warriors
Hosting the Atlanta Hawks, the Warriors were playing without two All-Stars in Stephen Curry and Draymond Green (suspended). To make matters tougher, this was their second night of a back-to-back after losing the previous night in LA to the Clippers in overtime.
At halftime, the game looked competitive, as the visitors led by 3 (52-49). Then came the vaunted third quarter and just as expected the Warriors took over. They outscored the Hawks 33-24 for the third quarter but took control on the back of a 17-2 run over a four-minute stretch.
In Curry's absence, it was Durant and Klay doing much of the heavy lifting once again, combining for 53 points while backup point guard Quinn Cook came up huge by registering 18 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
Hawks' rookie Trae Young had a tough shooting night, finishing only with 4 points on 2-of-12 shooting. He did fill up the stat sheet in other categories though - 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
Best fantasy performers
Tristan Thompson - 11 points, 21 rebounds (tied career-high), 5 assists on 83.3% shooting (5-6 FG's)
Clint Capela - 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block on 73.3% shooting (11-15 FG's)
James Harden - 22 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block
Can't miss highlights
We all knew Nikola Jokic guarding Chris Paul was a mismatch. CP3 just emphasized that.
POINT GOD 🔥 pic.twitter.com/66oMirGTch- Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 14, 2018
Rookie Colin Sexton is not one to back down from physical contact in the paint.
Collin Sexton finishes the acrobatic layup on @NBATV! #NBARooks pic.twitter.com/JA3wbywBwQ- NBA (@NBA) November 14, 2018
Hornets vs Cavaliers | Rockets vs Nuggets | Hawks vs Warriors