91 - 98 Final
  for this game

Faried steps up, Nuggets top Celtics

Mar 18, 2012 - 5:46 AM
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 16 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets survived a late surge by the Boston Celtics to take a 98-91 decision at Pepsi Center.

Danilo Gallinari added 20 points and Arron Afflalo finished with 15 for Denver, which improved to 4-3 on a nine-game homestand.

"We had to keep fighting, showing grit and toughness," Faried said. "That's what we did tonight."

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett scored 22 points apiece to pace the Celtics, who dropped their second straight game. Rajon Rondo contributed 12 points and 16 assists in the loss.

"We were just outworked. They got the loose balls, they got the offensive rebounds," Pierce said. "They got us on the break."

Boston trailed by a mark of 80-68 entering the fourth quarter, but after Al Harrington's layup put the Nuggets on top, 87-75, with less than eight minutes remaining in the game, Pierce had six points and Garnett had four in a 10-0 run to bring Boston within two.

Faried sank a pair of free throws to stop the Nuggets' offensive drought, and after Brandon Bass' jumper at the other end, Ty Lawson connected from beyond the arc before Faried jammed home an alley-oop to give Denver a 94-87 advantage with a little over two minutes to play.

Four straight foul shots by Garnett made it a three-point game with 1:27 remaining, but Ray Allen missed a potential game-tying trey after a failed Harrington layup and Faried sank a pair of free throws to put the Nuggets back on top by two possessions.

Bass misfired on a jumper on the Celtics ensuing possession, leading to Lawson's game-sealing free throws.

After a back-and-forth opening six minutes that saw three ties and two lead changes, Denver pulled away with a 11-3 run to jump out to a 27-18 lead and never looked back.

The Nuggets carried a 29-22 advantage into the second quarter and Boston cut its deficit to four, 31-27, with an early 5-0 spurt, but Corey Brewer recorded five straight points in a 7-0 run by Denver to extend its lead to double digits, 38-27.

Boston later closed the gap to six with a 7-2 spurt that included five points by Marquis Daniels, but Denver again responded with an 8-2 swing to run out to a double-digit lead and led by a mark of 55-42 at the break.

The Celtics never threatened in the third quarter, trailing by at least nine and by as much as 17 in the frame.

Game Notes

Denver improved to 14-11 at home this season, while Boston fell to 7-13 on the road...Faried went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line...The Nuggets outscored Boston in the paint, 48-40, and held a 20-4 advantage in second-chance points.