Frustration continues to mount for the Nuggets as Denver lost their tenth game in 11 tries Tuesday night, falling 105-98 to the Philadelphia 76ers.

A scorching hot start for both teams saw the first quarter end with Philadelphia on top 34-28. But the Nuggets got caught in a shooting funk and scored just 12 points in the second, and a late comeback in the second half wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

“Every aspect of the game, they beat us in. From effort to rebounding. When we did get stops, they got second shots,” said head coach Brian Shaw. “They made the plays and once again we didn’t. Same story.”

Denver’s biggest stars were curiously quiet – Ty Lawson took just four shots, though he did hand out 14 assists, and forward Kenneth Faried had zero points in 19 minutes, though this was his first game back after missing a game because of illness.

“His assist number was high,” said Shaw of Lawson. “But we need him to take more shots. We need him to be more aggressive offensively – looking for his own shot first and foremost. For whatever reason tonight he wasn’t looking to shoot the ball.”

The lone bright spot for Denver was the play of Danilo Gallinari, who had a season-high 22 points while going ten-of-eleven from the free-throw line.

The Nuggets did mount a charge in the fourth behind Gallinari, Jameer Nelson, Gary Harris, J.J. Hickson, Wilson Chandler, and Alonzo Gee, but it was much too little, too late.

Chandler finished with 19 points.

“They played hard. They just fought. It was just a difference in their effort. They picked up defensively going full-court and once we were able to get some stops it allowed us to score,” said Shaw. “We won the third quarter. We won the fourth quarter. But the hole we dug in the second quarter…was just too much to overcome.”

The win was just Philadelphia’s eleventh of the season, but Denver has made a bad habit of playing down to the competition.

Of course, the way the Nuggets have been going lately, there’s nobody really left to play down to.

The Nuggets will try and get a much-needed victory on the second-game of their east coast swing Wednesday against the Boston Celtics. Tip-off is set for 5:30.

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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