I’m not sure the Jazz could have dreamed up a better game. Not only were they not missing, the ball was bouncing in their direction and with 91 free throws and 47 fouls it was Utah’s dream game and a Nuggets nightmare.
Before the game everybody was asking how were the Jazz going to stop Carmelo Anthony and they went right for the kill with flopping and physical play. Melo made 5-of-10 shots over the first 18 minutes, but over the rest of the game he made only four of 15 shots and was called for four offensive fouls.
However, two plays that stand out to me:
- With under a minute left in the contest and Chauncey Billups was fouled by Carlos Boozer and he missed one of two free throws.
- With 26 seconds left in the game Melo was called for his sixth foul by Bill Spooner, who missed that CJ Miles stepped out of bounds before the foul.
- Nene played physical for the first time in a while and went for 18 points and six rebounds.
- You take out Melo’s four offensive fouls and he would have finished the game with 32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and three steals, to go along with two turnovers. But the offensive fouls were killers.
- Johan Petro made the most of his time and scored four points.
Kenyon Martin is obviously not healthy and is forcing it as much as he can.
- The Jazz shot 52.9 from the field and attempted 46 free throws.
- The Nuggets were called for 37 fouls in the contest.
- Chauncey Billups is struggling with his shot and missed a crucial free throw down the stretch. He finished the game with 17 points on 4 of 11 shots.
- JR Smith was back to his erratic self, scoring nine points on 4-of-12 shots and 3-of-10 from behind the arc.
- Ty Lawson didn’t attempt a field goal and only scored three points.
- The Nuggets gave up 114 points and will now have to win one in Utah to take the series.
The Nuggets didn’t take care of business and now must win a game in Utah, which can happen. They just can’t let the officials and the Jazz take them out of their game.
All photos are the courtesy of Jonathan Maness