"We're not going to win too many games when we give up 126 points," Shaw said.
With both teams on the second night of back-to-back games, it was clear early that this was not going to be a defensive struggle. The Nuggets jumped out to a quick lead by hitting their first four 3-point attempts, but Detroit was able to get to the rim at will, scoring 40 points in the paint before halftime.
Chandler and Foye combined for 23 points in the half — 21 on 3-pointers — but Denver had to adjust their attack with Lawson on the bench. The Nuggets turned the ball over twice in the opening moments of the third quarter, but Hickson pulled down six rebounds in the first three minutes of the period to keep Denver in the game.
Denver was within 97-86 at quarter's end, putting the pressure on a Detroit team that has struggled all season to hold fourth-quarter leads. Sure enough, even though Shaw had to go to Randolph and Jordan Hamilton, the Nuggets used an 8-0 lead to pull within 106-100 with 7:14 to play.
Detroit forced enough turnovers to end Denver's surge and Jennings iced the game with a pair of late 3-pointers.
"We are just being careless with the ball," Foye said. "As a team, we have to do a better job of fighting. We can make shots and we can make threes, but when it comes down to making stops, we have to do that, too."
NOTES: Will Bynum did not play for the second straight game, and hasn't been on the floor since an argument with Cheeks during a loss in Orlando on Wednesday. ... Chauncey Billups, who played for the first time in a month on Friday, also sat out Saturday's game. ... John Long, who scored 41 points in the NBA's highest-scoring game, was broadcasting Saturday's shootout for Detroit radio, filling in for Rick Mahorn. ... Lawson's fractured rib showed up on a postgame X-ray, and he is doubtful to play Monday at Indiana.