Denver, CO – Avery Bradley had 18 points and Brandon Bass had 17 points and 9 rebounds as the visiting Boston Celtics used a 33-point third quarter to overcome the Denver Nuggets 100-99 Friday night.

The Nuggets, who were without point guard Ty Lawson because of a suspected DUI arrest, got a nice game out of newcomer Jameer Nelson. Nelson had 11 points in the first quarter and 15 in the first half as the Nuggets got out to 48-42 lead by halftime.

Nelson finished with 23 points and 7 assists in his first start for Denver.

The Celtics came roaring break after the break, helped in part by Denver’s miscues. Forward Danilo Gallinari, who finally returned to the Nuggets lineup Friday, looked unsurprisingly rusty. Gallianari shot just 1-7 on the night and finished with just 4 points in 17 minutes. Another Nugget just starting to work his way back, Randy Foye, also struggled in limited minutes. Foye finished with zero points and just one assist in 11 minutes.

With under two minutes to go, the two teams were still neck-and-neck, until Bradley took over. His three-pointer with 1:23 remaining gave Boston a 98-96 lead they would never relinquish, and his jumper with just under 25 seconds left was just the icing on the cake.

The Nuggets did have a few opportunities late, but missed free throws continue to haunt them, and Jameer Nelson missed his potential game-winner as time wound down.

Other Nuggets of note were J.J. Hickson, who posted a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Arron Afflalo, who finished with 20 points.

Denver has now lost five straight.

Who’s got next: The Nuggets have a night off before welcoming in the Washington Wizards Sunday. The last time these two teams faced off was December 5th, when the Wizards won 119-89 in Washington.

Zach Marburger is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BurchBurger.

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