The Boston Celtics’ roller coaster Western Conference road trip ended with a thud Friday night.
The C’s followed up their win Wednesday over Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors with a 119-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center. And it was as ugly as it sounds.
Wilson Chandler (23 points, eight rebounds) led all scorers, while Denver teammates Nikola Jokic (21 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists), Danilo Gallinari (20 points) and Jamaal Murray (13 points) all reached double figures, too. Isaiah Thomas paced Boston with 21 points.
With the win, the Nuggets improved to 30-35, while the Celtics dropped to 41-25.
Here’s how it all went down.
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
SLEEPWALKING IN DENVER
It wasn’t the best start for the visitors, as the Nuggets jumped out to a 9-2 lead before Brad Stevens called a timeout. The Celtics never led in the quarter, and they trailed by as many as 10 points after two Chandler free throws with 42 seconds remaining in the frame.
Chandler and Gallinari both eclipsed double digits in points in the first. Bradley led the way for the sleepwalking C’s with seven points.
It only got worse in the second quarter for the Celtics. The C’s went down by 19 points after a Murray layup made it 52-33 Nuggets with just over six seconds remaining in the frame. Denver then twice increased its lead to 20 points on two more Murray layups. Boston inched its way back into contention with back-to-back 3-pointers from Crowder and Gerald Green, cutting its deficit to 62-50. The Nuggets enjoyed a 65-54 advantage at the break.
Jokic and Murray joined Chandler and Gallinari in double digits, as they both ended the first half with 11 points. Bradley (13 points) and Marcus Smart (11 points) led the way offensively at the break for the C’s.
MORE OF THE SAME
The Celtics cut their deficit to eight on multiple occasions, but that was as close as they got for the rest of the third frame. Instead, the Nuggets’ lead once again swelled to double digits for most of the frame, and Denver held a 94-80 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.
There was no “King in the Fourth.” In fact, there wasn’t much of anything for the Celtics in the final frame, as the Nuggets put the finishing touches on their blowout win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
The C’s will return home for two straight games at TD Garden, beginning Sunday with an afternoon tilt with the Chicago Bulls. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images