Thursday, April 10, 2008
Denver Silences 20K in Oakland
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)
(Boulder-CO) What a game - what a game! The Nuggets showed G-U-T-S when they were down by as many 16 points in the first half before Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, and J.R. Smith took over and willed Denver to a, 114-105, victory. The W gives the Nuggets a full game on the Warriors who have now lost nine of their last 16 games. Furthermore, now all the Nuggets have to do to solidify a postseason appearance is win two out of their next three remaining games, or just one if Golden State finishes 2-1 in its last three games, by means of Denver holding the tie-breaker outright over the 'Dubs.
With the way they started (giving up a 37 points in the first quarter), I wasn't so sure the Nuggets could come back. Everything was going Golden State's way and the Nuggets looked really flat. Down by as many as 16 at one point, it was as if the duo of Allen Iverson and J.R. Smith who decided enough was enough once the second quarter started. Denver opened up with 19 straight points of which Allen Iverson scored nine and Smith added eight of to surge the Nuggets to a one point lead at halftime.
After the second quarter and into the second half, the Nuggets controlled the game defensively. Denver did not surrender more than 23 points in any of the quarters following the first quarter breakdown and managed to win each 12 minute stretch. Baron Davis was neutralized (if you can say that about a guy who delivered a triple-double performance) and Stephen Jackson was held to 5-17 from the field for a total of 18 points. And despite all five Golden State starters scoring in double-figures, Golden State received very little offensive output (seven points) from its bench whereas Denver got a big shot in the arm from its reserves in the form of 34 points by way of J.R. Smith's 24 and Eduardo Najera's ten.
Allen Iverson led all scorers with 33 points and nine assists. Carmelo added 25 points and nine rebounds, but interestingly enough Denver did not have a player record a double-double while losing both the rebounding and assist battles.
And that, fellow brethren, is how 20 thousand rabid 'Dubs fans get to enjoy a ride back from the "Roracle" in dead silence.
Alright, let's all take a deep breath!
As of right this second, and barring any catastrophic melt downs, it looks like the Nuggets are in the playoffs. A tough game lies ahead on Saturday in Utah against the hated Jazz, but then Denver returns back to the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center where they are 31-8 to host their last two regular season games against the Rockets on Sunday and the hapless Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
Say it with me now...