The Celtics climbed within three points late in the fourth quarter, but ultimately couldn't overcome the 15 point hole they dug themselves into in the first half.
Rajon Rondo led the way for the Celtics, finishing with 12 points and 16 assists. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each chipped in 22 points, but Pierce fouled out early in the fourth quarter. His absence was felt down the stretch, as the Celtics failed on opportunities to narrow the lead to a single point in the game's closing minutes.
The Nuggets got a career night from rookie forward Kenneth Faried, who finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds. He relentlessly controlled the glass, and the Nuggets overwhelmed the Celtics in the rebounding department, grabbing 46 to Boston's 27. Rebounding has haunted the Celtics throughout the season, and they've been outrebounded by 120 in 10 March games.
The Celtics will continue their road trip on Monday at Atlanta, when they'll take on one of the Eastern Conference teams within striking distance in the standings. The Hawks (25-19), currently stand two and a half games ahead of the Celtics.
Boston also fell short on an opportunity to narrow the gap between themselves and Philadelphia - the leaders in the Atlantic Division - to just one half of a game. They remain a game and half back now, and the two teams will square off in Philadelphia on Friday night.