In the first quarter alone, the Nuggets gave up eight uncontested lay-ups and found themselves down by seven, 29-22. Denver was down at half 54-43 as result of not playing sound defense. The Hawks extending their lead by going on an eleven to zero run before the buzzer sounded at the break. The game was driving me crazy until the Nuggets went on a 29-4 scoring run that lasted the better half of the third quarter and stretched into the fourth. No, it wasn’t an offensive explosion, but rather a defensive commitment that led to such a distancing. The Nuggets hunkered down and with the help of the not-so-hotlanta Hawks missing 17 straight field goal attempts blew the game wide open.
The nicest surprise of the game was the play of Earl Boykins. The “Mightiest Micro” regained some much needed confidence against the Hawks and pulled out one of his gutsiest performances that I have seen in quite sometime. He finished 8-11 from the field and scored 19 points with four assists. Earl needed to break out of a funk that had been following him around like Pig-pen’s dark cloud so far this season. It was nice to see to say the least!
Carmelo had a tough go of it. He finished with 26 points despite shooting a dismal 10-25 from the field. Reggie Evans and Marcus Camby shared the majority of the boards with Evans grabbing ten and Marcus snaring 17. And my last game shout out goes to the Yak. He played great on defense and added nine points, with two threes, and four rebounds.
I am glad that I am not a total jinx to this team! Earlier in the season it would have seemed that every time that I opened my mouth in prediction that it came back to slap me in the face, but hey, maybe this road trip is going to kind to me and, more importantly, the Nuggets. Next up is the Wizards in a game that was too close for me to make a definitive tarot card reading on. Sorry, my crystal ball is down right now! Tip is set for five o’clock here in Colorado so don’t be late! Nuggets vs. Wizards, what else could you want?