DENVER (AP) — First, Andre Iguodala threw a bad pass. Then, he took too many steps.
Two costly turnovers late in a close game. In his Denver home debut, no less.
Miffed by his miscues, Iguodala went to work, scoring six of his 17 points over the final three minutes to help the Denver Nuggets hold off the Detroit Pistons 109-97 on Tuesday night.
“When I make a mistake, I really want to make it up,” Iguodala said.
And make it up he certainly did as he played a big role in the Nuggets snapping a three-game skid.
Even before tipoff, Iguodala got the capacity crowd riled up by grabbing the microphone and giving an impassioned speech to the fans: “This is a big year for us! We need your support!”
Then, he came through at crunch time. Not just with his offensive exploits, either, but his defensive intensity as well. He also added 10 rebounds.
“He was a presence everywhere, on every part of the court,” Danilo Gallinari said. “He’s great for us when he plays like that.”
The Nuggets broke out their new canary yellow uniforms for their home opener and played pretty snazzy, especially late in the third quarter when they began opening up a 17-point lead. The Pistons rallied in the final quarter, before Iguodala closed the door with two baskets and a pair of free throws.
Greg Monroe scored 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who dropped their fourth straight. Detroit and Washington (0-2) are the only winless teams left in the NBA this season.
“We showed a lot of fight,” Monroe said. “We have to push through. At that point, three minutes left, seven-point game, that’s definitely a winnable game. We have to find a way to win tight games like that.”
Early in the fourth, Iguodala and Corey Brewer hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Nuggets a 96-80 lead. Moments later, JaVale McGee brought the crowd to its feet with a thunderous dunk off a lob from Andre Miller.
The Nuggets appeared to be cruising to the win with 7:41 remaining, but the Pistons made things interesting when Jonas Jerebko stole the ball from Iguodala and went in for the dunk.
Iguodala turned the ball over again when he couldn’t find anyone to pass the ball to and traveled.
Then, he began his scoring spree, leading coach George Karl to quip after the game that he would be all right with Iguodala doing that all the time, earlier in the game even.
But Karl understands why Iguodala is slowly integrating his way into the offense. It’s just his style.
“He’s not going to shake the boat,” Karl said. “He’s going to figure out how we like to play, and figure out what’s a good shot and what’s not a good shot.”
McGee finished with 16 points while Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried each added 15.
The Pistons played their third of a winding six-game road swing. They return to California on Wednesday night to play Sacramento, before going to Oklahoma City and finishing up in Houston.
Rodney Stuckey came into the game in a shooting funk, hitting just 1 of his last 23 jumpers. But he found his range against the Nuggets as he finished with 17 points.
“He will always be a big part of our success,” Monroe said. “We need him to play like he did tonight, attacking the goal, getting to the free throw line. It was good to see that.”
Like Stuckey, Gallinari was struggling with his form. He spent nearly 90 minutes after Monday’s practice going through shooting drills designed to restore his confidence. He had it going early, but fell off as the young Italian forward had eight points on 3 of 11 shooting.
The Nuggets led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but could never pull away from the pesky Pistons. Kenneth Faried scored 12 points in the first half to send Denver into the locker room with a 58-51 lead at intermission.
Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said he’s trying to get his team to buy into the concept of being more unselfish.
“All the best teams are,” Frank said. “Look, who’s the most coachable player on the Spurs? Tim Duncan. Who’s the most coachable player on the Celtics? Kevin Garnett. Who’s the most coachable player in Oklahoma City? Kevin Durant. Who’s most coachable player of the Miami Heat? LeBron James. This is not calculus. This is not trying to figure out the next Pythagorean theorem.
“This is easy: Your players have to unite and inspire by how they play. It’s that simple.”
Notes: Pistons F Corey Maggette sat out a fourth straight game with a strained left calf. … The Pistons were 6 of 12 from behind the 3-point line. … Former Nuggets F LaPhonso Ellis brought out the game ball before tipoff. … The Nuggets avoided their first 0-4 start since 1998. … Denver outrebounded the Pistons 21-8 on the offensive glass.
More Related Stories
- How Dan Savage lost it
- Nancy Jo Sales on L.A. celeb robbers: "The Bling Ring kids were depressed"
- “Arrested Development,” hurry up and get here so you can stop being so annoying
- Must-do's: What we like this week
- Josh Ritter makes his "Blood on the Tracks"
- I don't hate millennials anymore!
- What's 2013's "Gone Girl"? Here are this summer's best reads
- Fox executive behind "Does Someone Have to Go?" leaving the network
- Hillary Clinton memoir shows up on Amazon
- A brief history of Jennifer Weiner's literary fights
- First look: Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard shine in "The Immigrant”
- No women allowed: Summer music festivals are dudefests, again
- Vivica A. Fox tapes anti-gun PSA in front of poster for her movie
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Mariah Carey's rambling, cursing, dress-popping "Good Morning America" concert
- Fox's new reality TV show threatens regular people with unemployment
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Steamy lesbian-sex movie has Cannes abuzz
- Stop what you're doing and go watch "Borgen"
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11