The duo of Wesley Matthews and CJ Miles frustrated Melo.

The 12 minutes that decided the game

Kenyon Martin trying to lead a fast break is probably not a good idea.

So many things went wrong Monday night and  it’s hard to put a finger on where to start. But hey if you missed it, all you have to do is watch the last three minutes of each quarter to see who won the game. During that stretch the Jazz outscored the Nuggets 42-19 as they closed out each quarter. The Nuggets were their own worst enemy during that same stretch, turning the ball over 10 times during that time frame. They had 17 turnovers for the game.

First quarter

  • 3:38: The Nuggets are barely holding onto a 21-20 lead when Kenyon Martin steals a pass from Kyle Korver. However, instead of giving the ball to Chauncey Billups or Carmelo Anthony or even JR Smith, K-Mart decides to play point guard and leads a 1-on-3 fast-break (not sure when the Nuggets have ever won with K-Mart leading a fast-break). But, Deron Williams steals the ball and gets a fast-break going the other way. A flagrant foul later and a pair of free throws by Paul Millsap and it is potentially a six-point swing.
  • 2:48: JR Smith attempts his first shot of the game and surprisingly it isn’t a smart one. Nope it is an off-balance 3-point shot with 18 seconds left on the shot clock. When has he ever made a shot like that to start the game?
  • 1:32: Williams sets up Carlos Boozer for an easy layup and the Nuggets responded with Smith’s second shot of the game this time it is a trey to beat the shot clock. Needless to say JR Smith finished the first quarter: 0-3 from the field and all three shots were from behind the arc and the Nuggets were down by three at the end of the first.

Second quarter

  • 2:53 and 2:08: Ty Lawson just drew an offensive foul on Williams (and is immediately replaced by Smith) and the Nuggets responded with an offensive foul on Melo (the worst call of the night because Williams flopped) and it is followed with another charge – this one on Billups.
  • 1:45: Melo beats the defense down the court, but Billups pass is short and Wesley Matthews steals the ball and than drains a trey. Five-point swing in favor the Jazz.
  • :53: Chris ‘The Birdman’ Andersen is called for three seconds, it was a call that Utah was asking for earlier in the game and they finally got it. The Jazz responded to score the final four points of the half.

Third quarter

  • 2:33: Game is tied and Melo is called for an offensive call (his second of the game).
  • 1:15: Korver makes a clutch jumper off of a screen and than draws an offensive foul on Smith. Korver comes back down and hits another jumper to put the Jazz up by six. Somebody must not have told JR that Korver can shoot.

Fourth quarter

  • 2:32: Nene just dunked the ball to put Denver up by three and fans at the Pepsi Center start breathing easier, thinking it is Nuggets time. However, the Nuggets defense somehow forgot about Williams who scores his only basket of the second half to cut the deficit to one.
  • 1:44: Melo tries to drive to the basket, but Millsap ripes the ball away and calls a time out. And out of the time out Korver drains a three.  Potentially a five-point swing.
  • 1:17: Melo is called for an offensive foul, but no repercussion as Anthony steals the ball back and finds Billups who is then fouled by Williams. But Billups misses his first free throw, which could have tied the game. One-point swing in favor of the Jazz.
  • :40: Nene just drew a charge on Korver, but Korver comes back to draw a foul on Billups to give the ball back to the Jazz. (Both great calls and great plays).
  • :25: Melo fouls CJ Miles for his sixth and final foul of the game, but Bill Spooner missed Miles blatant stepping out of bounds. Miles makes both free throws and Melo is out of the game. Potentially a four-point swing.

Stats the last three minutes of each quarter

  • Nuggets went 5-of-19 from the field (3-7 in the first quarter); Jazz went 11-of-16 from the field
  • Nuggets missed all eight of their 3-pointers
  • Jazz made all three of their 3-pointers
  • Denver was called for six offensive fouls
  • Utah was called for one offensive foul.

All photos are the courtesy of Jonathan Maness

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Tags: Carlos Boozer Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chris Andersen CJ Miles Denver Nuggets Deron Williams Jerry Sloan JR Smith Kenyon Martin Kyle Korver Nene Paul Millsap Ty Lawson Utah Jazz Wesley Matthews

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