The team was sparked by Francisco Elson recording his second career double-double and by Andre Miller posting a season high 15 assists. Marcus Camby also recorded a double-double with 14 points and twelve rebounds to go with his five swatted shots. Carmelo was Carmelo, scoring 24 points while shooting an even 50% from the field.
Once the third quarter began it was apparent that the Charlotte Bobcats were not going to be able to compete with the Nuggets. Denver came out blistering and scored 30 points in the quarter and held the Bobcats to a stingy 14. The Nuggets kept up the trend of harassing defense through the finish and cranked the defense up another notch only allowing eleven in the fourth quarter.
Kudos to two Denver Nuggets that picked up the intensity of their games in this contest. Greg Buckner recorded what could have been his best game of the entire season. He recorded 19 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Most importantly he gave the Nuggets a defensive identity and 34 solid minutes in the win. In a breakout game, Linas Kleiza contributed 13 points and six rebounds. The Nuggets first year player was tremendous in his allotted minutes and made the most out of his opportunity.
With Eduardo Najera rehabbing his knee, and Kenyon Martin nursing a bruise that dates back before the All-Star break. It was imperative that Kleiza step up and he did. I hope Kenyon Martin gets traded. It is obvious that the Denver Nuggets have enough help at the power forward slot and would be well advised to trade Kenyon for someone who can be a consistent addition to the squad.
The Nuggets are on again at Minnesota to take on the division rival Timberwolves. The second half of the season is going to separate the pretenders from the contenders. The Nuggets need to give us a repeat performance of last season’s second half run. George, whatever you said at halftime seemed to work. Keep these guys motivated down the stretch and we will have to see what this team can do when the pressure is on.