It must be some kind of hex the Nuggets are fighting because they once again started out another game by spotting the Celtics an 8-0 lead. Hex aside, I thought the Nuggets did a great job of fighting back and it serves as no surprise that it was Denver's calm captain, Chauncey Billups, who rallied the team with seven of Denver's first nine points. Once the initial bleeding was stopped, I feel Denver outplayed Boston overall for the quarter despite still trailing at the end of the period, 29-23.
If the starters played well in the first quarter then the bench played spectacular in the second! Denver's subs scored eleven of the team's 25 points in the quarter, but it was their defensive intensity that really set the tone for the Nuggets taking a, 48-42, halftime advantage. Renaldo Balkman was once again the key to the Nuggets overcoming their first quarter deficit by doing all the little things like boxing out, hounding his man on first pass denial, and making sure that no loose ball wasn't fought for. On one occasion, he not only controlled a tipped pass that would have surely went out of bounds had he not tip-toed the baseline, but also found a way to get the ball to Anthony Carter, who then tapped it to Chauncey Billups, who then spiked it to a streaking Carmelo Anthony for an easy dunk! It was a perfect bump, set, spike that made former Olympic Gold Medal winning Volleyballer, Chris Marlowe proud from his court side seat announcing the game!