Nuggets pick up a freebie

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Andre Iguodala emerged as Monday’s hero, playing strong defense and hitting a free throw with less than a second left to lift Denver to a 102-101 win over Orlando Johnson and Indiana.

By Dennis Georgatos
Associated Press


Andre Iguodala made a free throw with 0.4 seconds remaining after forcing a turnover to deny a last-second shot by Indiana, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Pacers 102-101 on Monday night.

Iguodala finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, making up for his 5 of 10 shooting from the free throw line with the one at the end along with the defensive play of the game when he stole the ball from Paul George as the Pacers' guard maneuvered for a last-second shot.

Iguoadala signaled for time out with 0.5 seconds remaining. On the inbounds, Andre Miller lobbed a pass toward the basket that Iguodala and George both went after with George making contact and getting called for the foul.

Iguoadala, who had missed four consecutive free throws earlier in the fourth quarter, cooly sank the tiebreaker and missed the second on purpose, and the buzzer sounded as the ball rattled off the backboard.

Danilo Gallinari had 27 points to lead the Nuggets, who recovered after giving up a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter and won their fourth in a row. Ty Lawson added 18 points, and Corey Brewer had 16.

George had 23 points to lead the Pacers, who lost their third in a row, matching a season-high. Lance Stephenson scored 20 points, and David West added 17.

The Nuggets got 10 points from Timofey Mozgov, who moved up in the rotation to play significant minutes in place of injured JaVale McGee. The 7-foot McGee was sidelined by soreness in his left shin. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI today to try to determine the severity of the injury.

Denver also was without another top reserve, Wilson Chandler, a late scratch because of a left groin strain.

After Stephenson made a layup to pull the Pacers within a point with 5:47 remaining in the third, the Nuggets scored 10 of the next 13 points en route to taking an 82-74 lead into the fourth quarter. Gallinari got the run going by converting a three-point play and sinking a 3-pointer the next time down the floor.

Lawson's layup capped a 6-0 run and put the Nuggets up 96-82 with 6:44 remaining.

Roy Hibbert started a tying 13-0 run for the Pacers as he broke free underneath for a dunk, and George had a four-point play to pull the Pacers to 99-97 with 3:08 remaining.

Iguodala went to the line twice in the next minute but missed four throws, and George Hill put in a floater from 10-feet away to even the score with 1:58 left.

Gallinari made two free throws with 59.7 seconds left before David West answered with a putback to re-tie the score at 101 with 38.6 seconds remaining.

With George maneuvering for a last-second shot, Iguodala stole the ball and signaled for time to set up the final inbounds play that would result in him going to the free throw line to settle the matter.

The Nuggets were trailing 47-43 when they went on an 11-2 run to go in front 54-49. Gallinari scored seven points during the surge, hitting a 3-pointer and two fastbreak layups. Stephenson responded with a long jumper and a driving layup to pull the Pacers to within 55-53 at the half.

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