And almost precisely what I knew needed to happen for the Nuggets to win tonight actually happened. Just read these highlights from the box score: Allen Iverson scored 28 points and handed out nine assists. Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and grabbed a couple of boards (you’ll understand why he only grabbed that many rebounds in a second). J.R. Smith stepped up and scored 13 points in 18 minutes. Marcus Camby tied a career-high by snatching 24 massive caroms, scored eight points, and also tied a career-high with eleven blasted Utah shot attempts. And last but not least is Linas Kleiza AKA “The L Train”, AKA “The Lithuanian Liquidator”, AKA “Amaze ya Kleiza” scoring a career-high 41 points and tying a season-high with nine rebounds!!!
Even Eduardo “The Grout” Najera showed his toughness by answering the call of duty, with a hyper-extended right elbow, when the Nuggets had no one else to turn to. Najera has so much intestinal mass that he might just earn the guts award for the year if he keeps these kinds of character-revealing efforts up. Eduardo is all heart and anyone who would like to argue that knows where to find me.
But the bottom line is the big three delivered in the Nuggets' most critical time of need and LK and J.R. stepped up gigantically with the result being Denver tied with Portland atop the Northwest Division at an even 23-15 after this, 120-109, victory over the hated Utah Jazz.
Give the Jazz credit though because they played a good game, but the Nuggets just flat out played better. The shooting percentages are right about even, Utah even out assisted the Nuggets, but the bottom line is Denver showed more heart than the Junk, I mean, Jazz and Jerry Sloan and crew will have to wait until Wednesday, February 6th to try and pay the Nuggets back.
There just isn’t much else to say about tonight’s game other than even in garbage time Steven Hunter still didn’t peel his off his sweats.
Oh, and one more thing… the quote of the century goes to longtime reader, close personal friend, and basketball guru btalk who said, “Andrei Kirilenko looks like the kind of guy that would wear tube socks with a tux.”
Pure gold, btalk! PURE 24 KARAT GOLD.