NBA

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 - 9:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Gordon's 45 not enough vs. Nuggets

Detroit Pistons (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
Ben Gordon (left) wows Will Bynum and Detroit with nine 3s, but misses a shot for the win.
Share This Story

   
 

DENVER (AP)

JaVale McGee's debut with the Denver Nuggets was punctuated by a smashing finish.

And the Nuggets needed it to overcome Ben Gordon's record-tying night from 3-point range.

McGee soared into the lane to rebound a teammate's missed free throw and dunk with 5 seconds remaining, and the Nuggets withstood Gordon's season-high 45 points for a 116-115 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

McGee's rebound and slam followed a missed foul shot by Arron Afflalo, who was fouled while making a driving layup with 5.6 seconds left. That basket pulled the Nuggets within 115-114 after they had blown a 25-point lead.

''I didn't think Arron was going to miss the free throw, but if he did, as long as I went hard, I figured I'd maybe get the tip-in or at least the tip out,'' said McGee, playing in his first game since being acquired by Denver a week ago in the trade that sent Nene to Washington.

''I just went hard and pushed (Greg) Monroe under the rim and I was wide open. It bounced and bounced and I was trying not to goaltend it and I just dunked it. It was definitely exciting, my first game winner. I'm definitely excited to be in Denver, my new home.''

Afflalo went from dismay over missing the foul shot to relief once he saw McGee flying through the lane to grab the rebound and put it back in.

''I'm very happy he made a great play,'' Afflalo said. ''Forget my free throw percentage. I'll take the `W' any time. You want to come through in those moments, but if we could plan that, I would do it again.''

bracket

WHAT A WASTE!

Every NBA owner is throwing away money on at least one player. Here's the worst contract on each team.

Gordon, who tied the NBA record by going 9 for 9 behind the arc, said the loss was especially tough to take after coming all the way back.

''We had our shots, we just had two bad possessions at the end,'' Gordon said. ''Obviously the Afflalo drive; we fouled him while he was driving to the basket while we were up three. Should have just let him get the two. And the tip dunk by McGee. It came off the rim so fast and he got up there.''

Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 25 points and Afflalo had 23. McGee finished with 15.

''I'm sure it's a proud moment for him, coming here and in the first game that he plays in, to win a game,'' Nuggets coach George Karl said of McGee. ''It's pretty classy, a pretty good chapter.''

Brandon Knight had 16 points for Detroit. Monroe added 13 points and Jonas Jerebko had 12.

The Pistons trailed 45-20 early in the second quarter, but took their first lead 78-76 on Gordon's eighth 3-pointer with 5:48 left in the third quarter.

Knight hit a 16-foot jumper less than three minutes later that gave Detroit a six-point lead, but Afflalo hit a 3-pointer and, after being fouled on a shot from beyond the arc, hit all three free throws to tie it at 91 going into the fourth.

bracket

THAT'S RICH

These 10 players are cashing the biggest paychecks. Are they worth it?

Gordon's ninth 3-pointer gave the Pistons a 112-109 lead with 2:51 to play. After Wilson Chandler drove in for a layup, Knight hit a 3-pointer for Detroit for a four-point lead.

Gordon got off a long jumper at the buzzer but it hit the back of the rim and bounced away.

''It's a painful, painful way to lose,'' Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. ''We put ourselves in a position to win and we put ourselves in a position to lose. It's one or two plays that can determine if you win the game or sweep the trip. We're not quite ready for it yet. It's going to take some painful experiences like this.''

The Nuggets led 62-57 at the half after being outscored 39-22 in the second period. Gordon scored 21 points in the quarter, going 5 for 5 from 3-point range.

NOTES: The Pistons were without Rodney Stuckey, who was rested because of lingering soreness in his left big toe. ... Gordon scored a career-high 48 points against Milwaukee on March 4, 2007, while with Chicago. ... With Chandler starting in place of injured Danilo Gallinari (thumb), the Nuggets have used 18 different starting lineups this season.

Tagged: Nuggets, Pistons, Al Harrington, Ben Gordon, Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, JaVale McGee, Ty Lawson

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..