Despite playing without three of their rotation players the Denver Nuggets not only wrapped up the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference, they once again won 50 games as they cruised to a 134-111 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
In the process the Nuggets had nine different players score in double figures and the only player that didn’t score was little used big man Melvin Ely who attempted only one shot in two minutes on the floor.
However the Nuggets couldn’t get any separation from the Warriors in the first half as the two squads were knotted up at 54.
However, Denver got hot in the third quarter behind 14 points from JR Smith to jump out to a 98-91 lead going into the final quarter. The Nuggets also hit seven three-pointers in the third quarter after not hitting a trey in the first half.
And in the fourth quarter little used big man Kosta Koufos put the final touches on the game after scoring 16 points in the quarter and finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds.
- Nene only played the first half and finished the game with 12 points after sitting
out the second half with a strained left groin. He also had another run in with Boulder-native Louis Amundson and the two were given double technicals after chatting at each other at the free throw line.
- Kenyon Martin was really active a little too active early and finished the game with 14 and seven. He also gave Koufos some pointers in the second half.
- Gary Forbes was once again given the starting nod and improved with the playing time. Forbes had 15 points and no turnovers in 31 minutes.
- Arron Afflalo, who is still hampered by a hamstring injury played well despite being bothered by the injury. AAA scored 10 points in only 17 minutes.
- Ty Lawson didn’t get hot from the three-point line and started the game a bit slow, but he did pick up his game in the second half and kept attacking the basket.
- After missing the previous five games, Chris Andersen came back with a spring in his step and was pivotal with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
- Raymond Felton also had a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists.
Now all is left is who the Nuggets face in the first round. The Nuggets are currently matched up against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but different scenarios could play out where Denver faces either the Dallas Mavericks or Los Angeles Lakers.
Tags: Al Harrington Arron Afflalo Birdman Chris Andersen Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Gary Forbes Golden State Warriors J.R. Smith Josh Kroenke JR Smith Kenyon Martin Kosta Koufos Los Angeles Lakers Louis Amundson Melvin Ely Oklahoma City Thunder Raymond Felton Stan Kroenke