Greg Monroe had 21 points and career-high 21 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons sent the Denver Nuggets limping home with a 98-88 loss Friday night.

D.J. Augustin added 20 points and 11 assists for the Pistons, while Ty Lawson led Denver with 20 points and 9 assists.

The Nuggets were without center JaVale McGee, who was out with illness, and guard Jameer Nelson (ankle). Hopefully whatever kind of bug the Nuggets have been dealing with over the past week will soon run it’s course.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The Nuggets couldn’t stop Detroit in the first half, giving up 28 points in each of the first two quarters. The Nuggets gave up 51(!) rebounds, while led to plenty of second-chance opportunities even when Denver was able to get stops.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets once again failed to crack the 40 percent mark from the field. Rookie center Jusuf Nurkic went 1-10 in his matchup with Monroe.

Denver did managed to battle back in the fourth, but – no surprise here – the hole they dug themselves was too much to overcome.

Other things on note: Rookie guard Gary Harris was the first off the bench for the Nuggets – but he only played 11 minutes after starting slowly (and likely only got that much time because of Nelson’s absence). Meanwhile, Lawson played 39 minutes and was aggressive, but it’s got to be tough for him to keep shooting when he’s out there for close to 40 minutes a night.

If there are any positives to take away from Denver’s night, it’s that Danilo Gallinari continues to make progress. Denver’s second-leading scorer on the night finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.

The loss is the Nuggets fifth straight, and they’ve now won just one game in their last 13. Their record has fallen all the way to 19-32. They’ve got two more games until the all-star break, and it can’t come soon enough.

After an 0-3 road trip, the Nuggets will try and make something happen at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Tip-off is set 7 p.m.

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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