The Denver Nuggets are trying to run the shorthanded Boston Celtics out of the gym early, but Boston responded to jump out to a 23-18 lead after the first quarter. Denver, debuting its new players acquired in the Carmelo Anthony trade, wants to play fast, a point emphasized by head coach George Karl, but simply don’t have the horses to run with the supremely talented, albeit short on depth, Celtics on Thursday night.
It’s been an odd night so far, with Chris Johnson, a beanpole center signed to a 10-day contract, seeing significant minutes in the first quarter for the Celtics. Kevin Garnett led the way with six points, followed by Rajon Rondo’s four and Paul Pierce’s three. Garnett also added a team-high four rebounds in the first quarter.
Nene led the way with five points in the first, followed Arron Afflalo and Kenyon Martin, who each had four points. Danilo Gallinari, making his Denver debut, had four rebounds, tied with Martin for the team lead. Wilson Chandler added three points off the bench.
With a lack of available players, head coach Doc Rivers is worried about fatigue, and determined to keep his players rested as the Celtics play with a short bench. We’ll see if they can keep up the pace as Denver continues to try and force the tempo.
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