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Gallinari's strong fourth quarter pushes Denver past Houston
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Danilo Gallinari poured in 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help the Denver Nuggets pull away and take a 118-110 decision over the Houston Rockets at the Pepsi Center.
Gallinari made three of his four triples in the final frame, where Denver outscored Houston by 11 points to capture its fifth straight victory and 12th in the month of January. He also tied a career-high with four blocks.
"Our confidence is very high," said Gallinari. "We know what we're capable of and we know that we're a very good team."
Kenneth Faried added 19 points and nine boards, Ty Lawson scored 16 and Andre Iguodala totaled 15 points with six assists in the Nuggets' sixth consecutive win over Houston.
The Rockets came in winners of three in a row, but returned to their sluggish defensive ways in allowing the Nuggets to shoot 51.2 percent from the field.
Jeremy Lin led the Rockets with 22 points, while Chandler Parsons and James Harden each followed with 21. Omer Asik amassed 10 points and 18 rebounds in the defeat.
"It's us being careless with the ball," Harden said on the team's mistakes. "We did a little bit too much in trying to make the home run play instead of trying to make the easy, simple pass."
The Rockets held an 86-83 advantage after 18 ties and 16 lead changes through the first three frames, but missed their first four shots to begin the fourth while also committing four turnovers in contributing to a 13-0 Denver surge.
Gallinari scored nine during the game-changing stretch, burying back-to-back triples before Wilson Chandler capped the run with a finger roll to open up a 96-86 lead for Denver.
Despite putting together a 14-5 push to come within four at the 2:55 mark, the Rockets couldn't overcome the damage, as Andre Miller and Lawson answered with consecutive baskets to quell Houston's comeback attempt.
Neither team led by more than four in the first half, but Houston changed that in the third with a 10-2 push, as Harden and Asik both finished scores following consecutive triples from Parsons to create a 72-64 advantage.
After a short Denver spurt, Toney Douglas turned two steals into layups and Marcus Morris buried a triple to keep the Rockets ahead by eight before heading into the fourth with a three-point edge.
Miller scored 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench for Denver ... The Nuggets improved to 19-3 at home this season ... JaVale McGee (tibia) sat for a second consecutive contest for Denver ... The Nuggets scored 29 points off 22 Rockets turnovers ... After the Rockets had outscored its last three opponents by a combined 73-18 on the fastbreak, Houston managed just 18 points to the Nuggets' 26 on Wednesday.
01/31 02:07:29 ET