Nuggets close summer league with loss to Rockets

A general view outside of Thomas & Mack Center is pictured before the start of an NBA Summer League and the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors.
Jul 12, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A general view outside of Thomas & Mack Center is pictured before the start of an NBA Summer League and the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

In their final game of summer league, the Denver Nuggets suffered a 105-96 loss to the Houston Rockets.

With the loss, Denver finishes play in Las Vegas with a 1-3 record.

After failing to make tournament play, the Nuggets settled for a consolation game against the Rockets. Denver came out of the gates firing as Rion Brown provided a massive spark. Brown scored seven of the Nuggets first 15 points as Denver held a 1-point lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Denver had seven guys score at least one point in the first quarter as they held a 22-19 lead after 10 minutes of play. The Nuggets lead did not last long as Houston opened the second quarter on a 17-10 run, which gave the Rockets a 36-32 lead.

One player that stood out for Denver in the second quarter was Kenny Goins, who scored five points in the period. Goins drilled a three-pointer and threw down a monster alley-oop dunk as he provided the Nuggets some very solid first half minutes.

Through 20 minutes of play, the Nuggets trailed 51-47. At the break, Brown led the Nuggets offensively with seven points, while Thomas Welsh and Vlatko Cancar scored six points a piece.

Just like they did to start the game, Denver began the second half on fire as they opened the period on a 8-2 run. That allowed the Nuggets to regain a 3-point lead, but the Rockets battled back.

Houston quickly regained the lead as they went on a 12-0 run to push their advantage to double-digits. The Rockets closed the third quarter on a 21-7 run, which gave them a 79-66 lead going into the fourth quarter.

It was desperation time for the Nuggets summer league squad as they were in dire need of a monster fourth quarter. Jordan Davis opened the fourth quarter with four straight points, which provided the Nuggets some life.

Davis single-handily kept the Nuggets in the game as he scored nine of Denver’s first 12 points in the quarter. Behind the strong play of Davis, the Nuggets were suddenly down just 3-points with five minutes remaining in the game.

Even though Denver battled back, it was all for not as Houston controlled the remainder of the game. Because of that, the Nuggets suffered a 105-96 loss to Houston in their final game of summer league.

The Nuggets were led offensively by Brandon Goodwin, who scored 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with six assists. Davis also finished in double-figures with 17 points behind three makes from beyond the arc. Jarred Vanderbilt also finished in double-figures with 11 points and fell just short of a double-double with nine rebounds.

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