Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/7/12
DENVER -- Andre Iguodala sat back and let his younger teammates steal some thunder Tuesday in the Denver Nuggets' home opener. JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried were flying around, dunking and blocking shots. Meanwhile, Iguodala was quietly putting together a solid game. In the end, he stole the show. Iguodala had a double-double in his first home game in a Denver uniform, and the Nuggets pulled away late to beat the Detroit Pistons 109-97 at Pepsi Center. Iguodala got hot in the fourth quarter to finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ty Lawson had 15 points and nine assists, and McGee came off the bench to score 16 points for the Nuggets, who had six players in double figures. It was the first time Denver fans had a chance to see Iguodala, who was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in August in a four-team trade. He has made his reputation on defense, but he added a little offense against Detroit. "I still have some things to work on, being more aggressive," Iguodala said. "When you're in the game with Andre Miller, you score in bunches, and I got some at the end." Greg Monroe had 27 points and eight rebounds, and Rodney Stuckey added 17 points for the Pistons (0-4). Denver, which avoided its first 0-4 start since the lockout-shortened season of 1998-99, found its shooting touch against Detroit. The Nuggets (1-3) hit 42.7 percent of their shots in the first three games, but they sank 55.8 percent in the first half Tuesday. They cooled off in the second half, finishing at 44.6 percent, but they beat Detroit with strong inside play. The Nuggets had a 52-35 rebounding edge and outscored the Pistons 56-44 in the paint. "We weren't very good at halftime. In the second half, I thought we were more efficient. Ty got better as the game wore on," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "It's the first time we shot over 30 percent on the 3-ball all year and made some free throws, too." The Nuggets led 70-69 when they pulled away from the winless Pistons. Iguodala hit a 3-pointer to kick-start a 14-5 run that put Denver up nine late in the third quarter. McGee had four points in the run, including a drive from near midcourt that he finished with a slam dunk to give Denver an 83-74 lead. The Nuggets put it away in the fourth. Consecutive 3-pointers from Iguodala and Corey Brewer followed by an alley-oop dunk by McGee made it 98-82 with 7:42 left. "They slowed the game down a bit more," Pistons rookie Andre Drummond said. "We started to run with them, so they tried to slow the game down. They got a lot of second-chance points, and that's what really got the best of us today." The Pistons made one last push with a 10-1 run over the next five minutes to make it close, but Iguodala's two free throws and a fast-break dunk pushed the lead to 103-92 with 2:27 left. "We wanted to cut it to eight by the 2:59 mark, and we did cut it to seven," Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. "We thought we had a chance, and it went away from us." In the first half, Faried had 12 points and Kosta Koufos scored eight, and they helped the Nuggets control the paint and take a 58-51 lead at the break. Stuckey led the Pistons with 14 points in the first half, but he hit just four of 11 shots from the field. Drummond had seven points off the bench. After leading 48-47, Denver finished the half on a 10-4 run. Lawson hit a jumper and fed Faried for a bucket, and Faried finished the half with a put-back. NOTES: Pistons forward Corey Maggette (left calf strain) was inactive for the fourth consecutive game. He has yet to play this season. ... Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler was in the lineup after missing the second game of a back-to-back set. He had five points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes. Chandler, who is working his way back from a hip operation, will sit out Wednesday at Houston. ... Iguodala fired up the crowd with a pregame pep talk.
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