The game was another showcase for J.R. Smith. Now, I know I have written critical things about The Prodigy in the past, but I can not be sweeter on him than I am right now. J.R. scored yet another team-high 19 points on 4-7 from downtown to fit nicely with four assists, three rebounds, and a steal. And if this kind of production can become routine for Smith, there will be no choice but for George Karl to start him while pleading with Allen Iverson to metamorphose into more of a point guard than a scorer.
Linas Kleiza also had a solid game to finish the preseason. LK scored five of his 18 points in the final two minutes of the contest and added six rebounds, an assist, and a block in 25 minutes of burn. In total, the Nuggets had six players finish in double-digit scoring as Carmelo (11), Kenyon (10), Nene (12), and surprise-surprise Juwan Howard (11) accounted for 71 of the total 106 points scored.
On the defensive end, The Birdman ruled the roost. Chris Andersen finished last night's game with 15 rebounds, including eight offensive boards, and four blocked shots to accompany his six points.
For the Clippers, it was a startling look back at last season's suffering as their two main additions to this year's team were unable to play. Former Nugget Marcus Camby didn't play due to a right heel bruise sustained in a scrimmage two weeks ago that is still making him walk with a limp, and Baron Davis is still on the IR due to a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament in his left ring finger. My only hope for Marcus, Baron, and the Clippers as a franchise is to get healthy and have more success than last season because I spent the entire year covering L.A. for About.com and can sympathize with a team that has endured their fair share of bad luck and losing.