Sunday, November 30, 2008
'90- Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird scored his 20,000th career point in the Celtics’ 123-95 win over Washington at the Garden. At the time, Bird became only the fifth player in league history (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West) to gather 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists in his playing career.
'96- Michael Jordan became the 10th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points after scoring 35 in the Bulls 97-88 win at the Spurs. Jordan reached 25,000 in 782 games, faster than any other player but Wilt Chamberlain (691).
Saturday, November 29, 2008
'99- Tyrone Corbin of the Sacramento Kings accomplished something that Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson never did. He played in his 1,000th regular season NBA game.
The Timberwolves have held fourth quarter leads in eight of their ten losses, including a loss to the Nuggets on November 16th, 90-84 , at the Pepsi Center.
But, since Minnesota's eight game losing skid after a win in their home opener, the Wolves have won three out of their last five games with some very impressive outings. Most notably handing the Detroit Pistons their second loss at the Palace this season.
However, against the Nuggets they're going to have to be great because Denver's had Minnesota's number since they traded Kevin Garnett before the 2007-08 season. Since that trade, the Nuggets have won six straight meetings in this series since losing, 99-94, at Minnesota on Feb. 14, 2007. Furthermore, the Nuggets, who lost on Thanksgiving to the Hornets, are 9-3 since acquiring Chauncey Billups and haven't lost consecutive games with the Denver native either.
With all that said, the T-Wolves are a very good team. They're statistically in the NBA's top five in assists per game (2nd), total turnovers (3rd), opposing offensive rebounding per game(5th), opposing steals per game (1st), and field goals attempted per game (4th), and are right on the cusp of having six players averaging double-digit scoring with Craig Smith now averaging 9.4. ppg after scoring 23 points and grabbing eight rebounds in Friday's win against the Thunder. Plus, they have Al Jefferson. Big Al is having another fantastic season so far with averages of 22.5 points (10th in the NBA) and 10.1 rebounds (7th in the NBA) which puts him in the elite 20/10 category along with only three other All-Stars: Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, and Chris Bosh.
Nene and Al Jefferson is going to be a battle to behold, Carmelo Anthony and Randy Foye are always entertaining, and Mike Miller's hair is always good for a laugh! Be sure to head over to TWolves Blog for everything Timberwolves, and as always...
Friday, November 28, 2008
(Boulder-CO) What started out as a game of runs certainly didn’t end up with one team running away from the other. In fact, it was just the opposite way around in last night’s dramatic finish as the Nuggets lost, 105-101, to the Hornets.
First off, there has finally been some light shed on why J.R. Smith was benched for the Nuggets game against the Clippers. Allegedly, Smith was extremely late for practice earlier this week and his punishment was not playing against the Clippers on Wednesday night. You can take this at face value and move on or you can believe that something more than just being late to practice was reason enough to bench a player, but either way you could tell J.R. Smith was fired up to play against his old coach and team…
In the first quarter, the Nuggets jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead with nine minutes still to play before the Hornets countered with a 18-2 run of their own. And after further expanding their lead to ten points at the quarter’s end, 32-22, the Hornets allowed Denver to go on a 12-2 run of their own largely in part to J.R. Smith’s hot hand accounting for eight of those points to bring the game to a, 34-34, tie with eight minutes to play in the half. Then, in seesaw fashion, the Hornets would once again run out offensively to a six point lead at the half, 52-46.
Despite the hot and cold nature of the offense, I really liked the way the Nuggets were containing Chris Paul defensively in the first 24 minutes of play. Paul finished the half with just two points as the Nuggets were double-teaming him and making him give up the ball before he could penetrate the paint and open up easy lay-up opportunities. For the Nuggets offensively, who doesn’t like J.R. Smith? The well-rested Prodigy torched his old team for 14 first half points and was really busting tail defensively as well. Carmelo Anthony had eight points in the half, but was efficient on 4-6 shooting.
Once the third quarter was underway I was looking forward less schizophrenic stretches of play, but it didn’t take long for the Hornets to pick right back up where they left off by way of a 10-2 run to open the second half before George Karl called timeout.
Two minutes, and three Dahntay Jones fouls later, J.R. Smith re-entered the game and hit five quick points to bring the Nuggets within seven points as the third quarter expired.
Once the final twelve minutes of regulation were put on the clock, Denver jumped all over the Hornets by way of an 11-2 run that gave Denver back the lead, 80-78, with 8:41 to play. Credit J.R. Smith for opening up the throttle with a quick jumper to start the run and Carmelo Anthony, Smith (again), and Linas Kleiza for hitting three three’s within 50 seconds to force Byron Scott to take a full timeout.
Out of the break both teams stumbled to the floor like two heavyweight fighters punch drunk from a slug fest and teetering on the brink of a knockout. And both teams, perhaps worried that the next run might be the one to win or lose the game, traded buckets in dramatic fashion down the stretch before Chris Paul hit a 30-foot three from dead center of the arch to tie the game, 92-92, with just two minutes to play.
The ensuing Nugget possession was a struggle with Kenyon Martin missing a 17-foot bank shot as the time left on the 24-second shot clock faded and on New Orleans’ next time down the floor Peja Stojakovic hit a big triple from the right corner. Down by three, George Karl called timeout and out of frustration, perhaps stemming from missing the J on the other end of the floor, Kenyon Martin kicked the scorers table on his way to the bench drawing a technical foul from referee Bennett Salvatore.
Now down by four with just over a minute to play, the ball went into Carmelo Anthony who drew a shooting foul attacking the rim and made good on two free-throws. In the following defensive stand, Denver was rotating like a carousel in an attempt to challenge all outside shot attempts off of dribble penetration by Chris Paul and after Paul was forced to take a fading 20-footer. David West tipped in what would have been an air ball to once again give the Hornets a four-point lead with just 50 seconds to play.
The Nuggets went right to work down by four and as Carmelo Anthony let a three-point attempt fly he was collided into by James Posey and sent to the line for a set three of free-throws. After making the first two, Carmelo missed the third perfectly to an offensive rebounding Nene who then flipped the ball behind his head to the cutting Anthony for a thunderous two-handed dunk to tie the game with just 37 remaining to play. With the Pepsi Center was raucous, James Posey hit what could have been the backbreaking three with 19 second remaining and after Chauncey Billups missed an attempt to tie it would have seemed like the Nuggets Thanksgiving was ruined by the former Nugget. But, J.R. Smith wasn’t finished with his late game theatrics. Following a pair of free-throws by Stojakovic that gave the Hornets a five-point lead, J.R. Smith connected on a desperation 30-footer to bring the Nuggets back within a deuce with just four seconds remaining. But, Smith's theatrics were too late. The Nuggets had run out of time and after Smith was forced to foul Chris Paul with just two seconds to play Denver could nothing but watch as CP3 connected on the pair of penalty free-throws to ice the game.
But what a return to action it was by Smith. J.R. finished the game with a game and season-high 32 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals; one of which was finished with a soaring slam.
Carmelo broke out of his offensive slump, albeit quietly, with 24 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals on an economical 8-13 shooting. No other Nuggets scored in double-figures, but Chris Andersen did return to action a game earlier than expected to grab eight rebounds, six points, a block, and an assist in 23 minutes off the bench.
Defensively, Denver did a great job on Chris Paul in the first half, but a player of his caliber can only be contained for so long as CP3 scored 20 of his team-high 22 points in the second half to fit nicely with his ten assists and four rebounds. Rasual Butler added 19, Peja Stojakovic 17, David West 15, and James Posey 10 to round out the bulk of New Orleans’ scoring.
The loss puts Denver (10-6) in a three-way tie for first in the Northwest Division with the Portland Trailblazers and Utah Jazz each with six losses. Up next for the Nuggets is a trip to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves tomorrow night.
'86- The Celtics downed San Antonio 111-96 at Boston Garden, setting an NBA record with their 38th consecutive home victory.
'92- Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Lenny Wilkens appeared in his 2,500th NBA game (in 29 seasons as a player and coach, in both regular season and playoff games) in the Cavs’ 95-93 road loss at Orlando. Wilkens, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1988, joined Don Nelson as the only individuals to appear in 2,500 games. During the 1994-95 season he passed Nelson as the NBA’s all-time leader in game appearances, as a player or coach, with 2,737.
'92- Reggie Miller exploded for 57 points to set an Indiana team record as the Pacers defeated the host Charlotte Hornets 134-122.
'92- The LA. Clippers’ 121-119 road win at Denver gave Clippers’ head coach Larry Brown his 400th career NBA victory.
'97- Chicago's Michael Jordan scored 26 points at Indiana to move past Elvin Hayes (27,313) into fourth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 27,332 points.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
The preview I'll set the table with is actually quite simple and it involves, in my opinion, the best player in the league, Chris Paul. Chris "The Triple-Double Machine" Paul is amazing! If the Nuggets are going to win tonight they have to somehow slow the Hornet point guard down as he has recorded his second straight triple-double of the season on Monday against the Clippers. Additionally, CP3 has passed out at least a dozen assists in four of his last five games and has reached double digits in the category in 11 of 13 games so far this season.
Another interesting note about the 8-5 Hornets is they have only won two games this year when they do not score score 100 points or more.
Time to put the D back in Denver.
Slow Paul, slow the Hornets.
'47- Philadelphia’s Howie Dallmar set an NBA record for the most field goal attempts with none made, 15, against New York. The record was not topped for 44 years, until Tim Hardaway of Golden State shot 0-for-17 on December 27, 1991.
'63- Wilt Chamberlain hit 18 field goals in a row during a 118-89 win over New York to set what was at that time an NBA record.
Enjoy your day!
It was really nice to Marcus Camby dishing out hugs to all his old mates and Coach George Karl before the game. Despite being sold garage sale style his summer, I still have a soft spot for The Captain after six years of holding the Nuggets down in the middle.
In the first quarter, the Nuggets looked strong on the offensive revival of Carmelo Anthony. 'Melo scored ten first quarter points and led the way for Denver outscoring L.A. 32-22 in the first, but that's right about when things started to slide for the Nuggets. Once the second period started, Denver completely self-destructed in more ways than one. Defensively, the Nuggets reserves were terrible and, surprisingly, J.R. Smith never took off his warm-ups. I kept waiting and waiting for Karl to look to his best offensive weapon off the bench as the lead was slipping away, but it never happened. And even more aggravating than watching the Nuggets struggle offensively as the Clippers erased the ten-point lead the Denver starters opened up in the first was how the broadcasting crew for Altitude either didn't or wouldn't divulge as to why Smith was banished.
The story was there and no one chose to cover it. Why wasn't J.R. Smith playing? The saga would continue to drive me crazy for the rest of the game as my imagination ran wild with every possible scenario, but for the broadcast crew to completely ignore the story left me with one conclusion: J.R. and the coaching staff must have had an incident. It's too easy to say, “J.R. Smith suffered this or that injury in practice and is questionable for tonight", or , "J.R. Smith has the flu", but because mum was the word something had to have happened and the TV crew must have been told to keep it close to the vest.
More to come on this as I sleuth around the scene...
The Nuggets started the second half up by one a point and with the reserves on the bench which allowed the starters to open up a 13-point lead in thanks to great defense. Denver, led by another seven points by Carmelo Anthony, outscored L.A. 21-9 in the first 11:30 of the quarter before allowing the Clippers to close the third with a 7-2 run in the final 30 seconds of the third.
Enter the fourth quarter.
The same team that just manhandled their opposition 23-16 in the previous 12 minutes was about to have another defensive lapse capped off by the Clippers pulling even at 103 with a 17-7 run capped by Eric Gordon's fourth made trey with 1:35 to play. Perhaps sensing the urgency of the game slipping away, George Karl called timeout and diagramed the ball to go to his star, Carmelo Anthony. 'Melo received the ball on the wing and after a couple of ball fakes let go of a 14-foot jumper that gave the Nuggets the lead, 105-103. With just over a minute to play, Clippers' stand-in Coach Kim Hughes chose not to call timeout to draw up a set play and on the ensuing possession Baron Davis missed a contested lay-up that was rebounded by Anthony Carter. Needing a defensive stop, the Clippers slipped up and fouled Kenyon Martin with Denver in the penalty. Kenyon missed the front end of the one-and-one, but made good on the second to give the Nuggets a three-point lead. At this point, Coach Hughes then decided to draw up a play with 42 second remaining that fruited a Zach Randolph lay-up with 34 ticks still on the game clock and the Clippers down by one.
Clinging to the slimmest of margins, Denver ran off as much of the remaining clock as possible before an Anthony Carter three was put on rim and the carom was snared by our old friend Marcus Camby with just nine seconds to play. The Clippers didn't have anymore timeouts and the ball was quickly put in Baron Davis' hands for a chance to win the game. Davis drove towards the left wing before becoming completely blanketed defensively and dishing to a wide open Marcus Camby at the top of the three-point arch for L.A.'s buzzer beating chance.
With the ball slowly back spinning its way towards the rim I thought to myself, "Marcus Camby is going to hit this shot as some kind of payback for the Nuggets trading him for next to nothing", and to say I was ecstatic when the ball drew iron unkind would be an understatement. Had the attempt been from the top of the key, Marcus' favorite shot, who knows what might have happened, but the extra distance and the unexpected dish from Baron Davis left Marcus a little bit out of his comfort zone and the Nuggets, despite playing poorly for extended stretches, had managed to dodge a bullet and win, 106-105.
The Nuggets were led by Carmelo Anthony breaking out of his recent scoring slump to finish with his third straight double-double of 30 points and eleven boards. An area of note for 'Melo continues to be his efficiency at the free-throw line this season as he is shooting over 80% overall and cashing in 14 of 16 attempts against the Clippers. The Nuggets are also shooting and making the most free-throws league-wide and in tonight's game created a large disparity at the line by finishing 36-43 in comparison to L.A.'s 21-29 at the charity stripe. Four other Nuggets made it to double digits in scoring with Nene and Kenyon Martin each scoring with 17 points, and reserves Linas Kleiza adding 15 and Anthony Carter finishing with 13 points and six assists.
With the win, the Nuggets are now 10-5 overall, 9-2 since acquiring Chauncey Billups, are sitting at the top of the Northwest Division with a half game lead on both Utah and Portland, and that‘s a lot to be thankful for! Up next for the Nuggets is a Thanksgiving match-up tonight with Chris Paul and the Hornets back at the Pepsi Center.
Happy Thanksgiving and Go Nuggets!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
'94- During a 101-87 victory over Golden State at Gund Arena, the Cleveland Cavaliers set an NBA record by attempting just two free throws the entire game, breaking the mark of three previously held by the Los Angeles Lakers for 14 years. John “Hot Rod” Williams and Tony Campbell each went 1-for-1 from the line for the Cavs.
'99- A.C. Green of the Los Angeles Lakers played in his professional basketball record 1,042nd consecutive game by appearing in a 103-80 win over New Jersey. Green eclipsed the record of former ABA and NBA star Ron Boone.
'00- John Stockton appeared in his 1,271st NBA game, all in a Utah Jazz uniform, passing previous record-holder John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics for most career games played for one team. “I have such great respect for John Havlicek, I can’t even express it,” said Stockton.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
November 25, 1960 Bailey Howell of Detroit set what was then a Pistons’ home record 19 free throws in a game against Los Angeles, as he finished with 43 points. He also grabbed a Pistons’ home game record 21 rebounds in one half.
Enjoy your day!
Monday, November 24, 2008
'49- Don Otten of the Tri-Cities Blackhawks set an NBA record by committing eight personal fouls in a 120-113 loss to Sheboygan.
'49- The Syracuse Nationals defeated the Anderson Packers 125-123 in five overtimes, at that time the longest game in NBA history. The record was broken a little over a year later when Rochester and Indianapolis played a six-overtime contest on January 6, 1951.
'60- Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors grabbed an NBA record 55 rebounds in a 132-129 loss to Boston. Chamberlain went on to collect 2,149 rebounds in 79 games during the 1960-61 season, averaging 27.2 rpg, both NBA records that still stand.
'86- Maurice Podoloff, the first chief executive of the NBA, died at the age of 95. Podoloff held the title of NBA President (title changed to Commissioner in 1967) from 1946 through his retirement in 1963.
'96- With a pair of free throws in the third quarter of Houston’s 90-85 road win over the Lakers, Clyde Drexler became the 24th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points.
'99- A.C. Green of the Los Angeles Lakers ties former ABA and NBA star Ron Boone for the longest consecutive games played streak in professional basketball history by playing in his 1,041st game when the Lakers host the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Green became the NBA's all-time iron man when he played his 907th consecutive game while a member of the Dallas Mavericks on November 20, 1997, passing Randy Smith, who played in 906 consecutive games for Buffalo, San Diego, Cleveland and New York.
'99- Pat Riley of the Miami Heat collects his 200th win with the team after a 93-91 win over Atlanta, giving him 200 wins with three teams (Lakers, New York, Miami). He joins Lenny Wilkens and Bill Fitch as the only coaches to accomplish that feat.
'01- With three assists in a 99-94 loss to Minnesota, Terry Porter of the San Antonio Spurs became the only player in NBA history to record 15,000 points, 7,000 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-pointers.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
'91- The Sacramento Kings snapped their NBA record 43-game road losing streak with a 95-93 win over the Magic at the Orlando Arena. Lionel Simmons scored a game-high 27 points to lead the Kings to their first road triumph since November 20, 1990 in Washington.
'94- Jeff Hornacek of Utah set an NBA record by sinking all eight of his three-point field goal attempts during the Jazz’ 113-103 home win over Seattle. Hornacek scored a career-high 40 points and broke the previous mark held by Portland’s Terry Porter (1992) and the Sonics’ Sam Perkins (1993), who both went 7-of-7 from three-point range. Perkins tied Hornacek’s 8-for-8 performance for Seattle against Toronto on January 15, 1997.
'94- Wesley Person hit for 19 points to lead 10 double-figure scorers in Phoenix’s 140-109 home win over the LA Clippers. The Suns became the third team in NBA history to have 10 different players score in double figures in the same game. On March 30, 1980, Seattle defeated Portland 135-104, with Gus Williams’ 23 points leading 10 double-figure scorers for the Sonics. And on April 14, 1994, the Sonics accomplished the feat again, defeating the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 150-101, with Detlef Schrempf’s 21 points leading the way.
'97- Los Angeles Laker head coach Del Harris recorded his 500th career win after a 119-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
(Boulder-CO) Things weren't completely terrible in the Nuggets, 104-90, loss to the Lakers, but there were three things that really irked me in the first half.
First off, Denver's defense in the first 24 minutes was deplorable. I thought complete defensive lapses like last night's first half were behind this team, but when everybody wants to selfishly shoot jump shots it's hard to really get juiced on defense knowing you're probably not going to see the ball on the other end of the floor.
That concept transitions perfectly into my next area of aggravation: shot selection. Last night, the wrong people were taking the wrong shots at the wrong time and it really put the Nuggets in the tough position of trying to come from so far behind so early in the game.
Finally, it was clear to me that the Nuggets personnel situation has to change for this team to compete with teams of like caliber to the Lakers if the Nuggets are truly going to emerge as a contender in the Western Conference.
Oh, and one more thing... The Lakers are really, really good.
In the first half, there was no D in Denver. The Nuggets allowed nine different Lakers to score at least a bucket while not making any of L.A.'s talented crew work too hard for it. Of the 28 made field goals by L.A. in the first half, 15 were either dunks, lay-ups, or shots from inside the paint resulting in the Lakers shooting a scalding 62% from the field. And to add insult to injury, L.A. had three players in double figures by intermission while enjoying a 20-point lead, 67-47.
The Denver Nugget weren't doing themselves any favors with their shot selection either and Linas Kleiza's nine minute body of work in the first half serves as a prime example as to why. Would someone on the Nuggets coaching staff please tell Linas to stop chucking up three-pointers or tell 'Melo to take the ball to the hole a few times before completely settling for jumpers? In nine minutes, nine-frigid'-minutes, Linas Kleiza shot four three's out of his six attempts total! Who does Kleiza think he is, Dale Ellis? All I know is had it been J.R. Smith with the itchy trigger finger I can only imagine the backlash that would be going on in the comments section because, "He just doesn't get it", but the truth be told J.R.'s the one fighting for light like a fern on the rain forest floor as guys like LK bomb away without any sort of discretion!
And while on the topic of J.R. Smith, why is Dahntay Jones still starting? Someone please tell me one solid reason... I'll wait... because not allowing a player with the ridiculous upside of Smith to run with the starting five (which could only individually benefit him) when he is obviously the one who by playing those minutes it would benefit the team the most is unjustly retarding the overall development beyond what any of us can probably understand. Dahntay Jones is neither the defensive stopper he originally was billed as or a better threat offensively than J.R. is so it's high time to stop kidding ourselves and play the best five on the team.
As for the rest of the game, Denver did show signs that they learned something after playing such a terrible first half by closing L.A.'s lead to just eleven with seven minutes to play in the third. However, their comeback was short-lived as the Lakers finished up by 21 points entering the fourth quarter as the Zen Master meditated his way to a 10-1 record.
Please don't take my tone as disgust, but rather interpret it as disappointment. I really thought Denver would put forth a better effort against one of the NBA's top teams. Plus, watching Kobe Bryant sit on the bench after playing only 13 minutes in the second half and scoring a game-high 29 points makes me sick.
PS - I’ve had it with Blogger and its inconsistency so I’ve decided to join the Bloguin Network of sports writers. There’s already a new and improved Nugg Doctor in the works so get ready!
'61- St. Louis Hawks forward Bob Pettit connected on all 19 of his foul shots in a 141-121 loss at Boston, establishing what was then an NBA record.
'92- Rick Adelman posted the 200th victory of his coaching career as the Blazers beat Detroit, 115-90. At the time, no coach had reached the 200-win milestone that quickly. The win came in his 288th game.
'94- Golden State Coach Don Nelson became the first individual in NBA history to participate in 2,700 career games as a player or coach (both regular season and playoffs), during the Warriors’ 102-98 road setback at Golden State. Later in the 1994-95 season, Nelson was passed in career NBA game appearances, as a player or coach, by Atlanta head coach Lenny Wilkens.
Friday, November 21, 2008
'84- The Boston Celtics sank 55-of-81 field goal attempts for a club-record .679 shooting percentage in a 135-91 rout of Golden State.
'90- Atlanta’s Moses Malone became only the seventh player in NBA history to reach the 25,000-point plateau by scoring 22 points in the Hawks’ 105-93 loss to Milwaukee at the Bradley Center.
'96- With the Los Angeles Clippers’ 105-94 loss at Dallas, Bill Fitch became the first NBA coach to record 1,000 career loses.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
(Boulder-CO) As the Nuggets continue to roll up the victories the bar continues to rise. Just how good did the Nuggets become after trading Allen Iverson to the Pistons for hometown hero, Chauncey Billups? Well, good enough to beat the perennial Western Conference powerhouse San Antonio Spurs last night, 91-81, on their home floor. As for how good they will be? We're going to know on Friday night when Denver takes on the 8-1, best record in the Western Conference, Los Angeles Lakers.
The first quarter in the Alamo City was quite basic. Jacque Vaughn still can't guard Chauncey Billups. Michael Finley can still elevate and shoot. Carmelo Anthony and Bruce Bowen still don't like each other. And Kenyon Martin and Tim Duncan are still a great match-up to watch. Denver played solid defense, per recent expectation, and led 22-21 after twelve minutes of action.
It wasn't until the start of the second quarter that Denver upped the ante defensively to hold the Spurs to just four points in the first six minutes while the offense - led by reserves Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman, and J.R. Smith - reeled off a dozen points to open up, 34-25, lead. Two back-to-back turnovers by way of Carmelo Anthony trying to push the fast break a touch too hard didn't stop Denver from continuing to win the quarter, 28-19, to enjoy a 50-40 lead at the half.
I've really enjoyed how the Nuggets have sustained their level of defensive intensity in the last few games and the second quarter against the San Antonio Spurs is a perfect twelve minute microcosm to serve as to why. I've already detailed how Denver held the Spurs to just four points in the first six minutes of the second half, but when the full quarter is dissected it really was a superb stretch in which the Nuggets did practically everything correct. Denver was active in rotation and didn't allow any uncontested three's. J.R. Smith played excellent one-on-one defense on Roger Mason and Michael Finley. Everyone did a great job playing one pass deny and as a whole Denver just made the Spurs work extremely hard for everything they wanted to execute.
Then as a bonus treat Denver completely suffocated San Antonio in the third period! Now, I understand that San Antonio is without two great offensive players in Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. And I also know how hard it is for a team to operate efficiently without a true point guard, but I haven't seen a beating like the third quarter since someone put a banana in my pants and turned a monkey loose! The Nuggets ended the third with an 11-1 run, including a scoreless final 3:24, after allowing the Spurs a mere 13 points prior to a Bruce Bowen free-throw with six seconds remaining. For the quarter, Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony combine for 18 of Denver's 25 points to hold commanding, 75-54, lead entering the fourth quarter.
Once the final twelve started to dwindle Coach Karl put on the cruise control with his reserves. With the Lakers on Friday night, it was nice to see Denver's starting five getting some much deserved rest even if it meant allowing the Spurs to trim back the Denver margin of victory to just ten points.
Pacing the Nuggets was the duo of Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups. Chauncey led all scorers with 22 points, six assists, five rebounds, a steal, and a block and Anthony flirted with a triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Surprisingly, Denver's bench combined for just 14 points after averaging 33.3 points in the last three games.
Friday is payback time for the Nuggets when they face their second great test of the season against the Los Angeles Lakers.
'92- Karl Malone’s game-high 34 points lifted Utah to a 97-95 win over Indiana at Market Square Arena and pushed him past the 15,000 point mark for his career.
'93- Orlando’s Shaquille O’Neal scored 24 points, grabbed 28 rebounds and blocked 15 shots (tying Manute Bol for the second-highest total in NBA history) during the Magic’s 87-85 victory over New Jersey at the Meadowlands Arena.
'97- A.C. Green of the Dallas Mavericks set an NBA record by playing in his 907th consecutive game in a matchup against Golden State. Green broke the record of Randy Smith, who played in 906 consecutive games from 1972 to 1983. Green continued to add to the record, playing in 1,192 games through the end of the 2000-01 season.
'99- Houston's Hakeem Olajuwon reached 2,000 career steals after a steal in the second quarter of the Rockets' 110-107 loss to Seattle Saturday night. Olajuwon is the only player in NBA history with 2,000 steals and 2,000 blocks. Steals and blocks have been compiled since the 1973-74 season.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
'59- Connie Dierking of the Syracuse Nationals became the first player to foul out of a game in the first quarter as Syracuse beat Cincinnati at New York, 121-116.
'81- New York Knicks center Bill Cartwright made 19 free throws, missing none, in a game against Kansas City, tying the NBA record set by St. Louis’ Bob Pettit. This record was later tied by Detroit’s Adrian Dantley and broken by Atlanta’s Dominique Wilkins, who made 23 consecutive FTs without a miss on Dec. 8, 1992 against Chicago.
'84- Purvis Short scored 59 points, the most by any NBA player since April 9, 1978, but his Golden State Warriors lost to New Jersey 131-114. It was the third time in a week that Short had scored more than 40 points in a game.
'99- NBA Commissioner David Stern announces that Jeffrey Mishkin, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the NBA for the past seven years, will be returning to private practice as a partner at the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, effective January 1, 2000. As Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Mishkin had overseen every aspect of the NBA's legal affairs, including all litigation, labor relations, commercial transactions, legislation and enforcement of the league's intellectual property rights. During his tenure at the NBA, Mishkin remained an active practitioner, personally arguing the appeals in the NBA's most significant matters, including NBA v. Williams, Chicago Professional Sports and WGN v. NBA, and NBA v. Motorola.
'00- Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers became the 25th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points as he tallied 30 points in a 92-90 loss to Golden State.
'00- Jason Kidd of the Phoenix Suns tied the NBA record for turnovers in a game when he turned the ball over 14 times in a 90-85 loss to New York. John Drew of the Atlanta Hawks committed 14 turnovers at New Jersey on March 1, 1978.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The key to beating the Timberwolves is slowing down Al Jefferson. The entire Minnesota offense revolves around the big man who is averaging 22.6 and 10.1 rebounds per game. In fact, there is not another T-Wolf averaging more than 14 points or grabbing at least five rebounds per game. Furthermore, Minnesota is in the bottom five in each of the following categories: Defensive rebounding per game (27th), opposing defensive rebounds per game (25th), steals per game (27th), total turnovers forced (28th), points allowed per game (25th), three-point field goals made per game (28th), three-point field goal percentage (29th), free-throws attempted per game (29th), opposing field goals allowed per game (27th), and opposing field goal percentage (27th).
Don't slip tonight, Denver. The Timberwolves are desperate for a win and would like nothing more than to beat the Nuggets on their home floor for their first road victory of the year. Be sure to check out TWolves Blog for more in depth Minnesota coverage.
'61- Connie Hawkins made his professional debut for the Pittsburgh Rens of the ABL at home in a 97-89 loss to the Chicago Majors.
'62- Wilt Chamberlain of the San Francisco Warriors scored 73 points against the New York Knicks, tied for the third-highest single-game point total in NBA history.
'93- Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf of the Denver Nuggets had his consecutive free throw streak end at 81 in a game against San Antonio. Abdul-Rauf’s streak was the second longest in NBA history, trailing only the record 97 established by Minnesota’s Micheal Williams one week earlier.
'94- With five rejections in New York’s 110-89 road win over the LA Lakers, Patrick Ewing became the ninth NBA player to reach 2,000 career blocks.
'01- NBDL tipped-off its inaugural season when the Greenville Groove hosted the North Charleston Lowgators at the BI-LO Center in Greenville, S.C.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
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!