The Denver Nuggets have had a no excuse and free spirited attitude after trading Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and so you would think after beating themselves in Game 1 they would come out with more fire in Game 2. Right?
Well that is better said than done. The Thunder came out as the team that wanted it more. They held a 16-point lead after the opening quarter and didn’t let the Nuggets get closer than 10 the rest of the game. And no it wasn’t Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook that beat them this time. It was nearly everybody else and everything else, Durant and Westbrook were just icing on the cake. And for those (this blogger included) that thought that the Thunder couldn’t play any better than they did in Game 1 – well, they did.
Oklahoma City took Nene out of the game by fouling the brute big man and making him earn his free throws from the line as he shot an astounding 18 free throws – making only 12. The good news (if there is any) was he made 5 of his final six free throws – hopefully a sign of things to come in Game 3.
The Thunder also dominated the glass on both sides of the ball. OKC grabbed 54 rebounds in the game, nearly doubling the Nuggets work on the glass (31). Serge Ibaka had 12 and Kendrick Perkins added 11.
- Al Harrington played his best game in a while and gave the Nuggets a spark off the bench. He went 6 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from behind the arc for 15 points.
- Ty Lawson had 20 points, four rebounds and a block.
- Raymond Felton had 16 points and no turnovers.
- And that is it…
- JR Smith went 1-for-6 and had as many turnovers (2) as points (2) in six minutes. He also had a -17 +/- ratio.
- Wilson Chandler missed all six of his shots.
- Nene missed six of his eight shots.
- The Nuggets had only 12 assists to 11 turnovers
- As a team the Nuggets shot only .391 percent from the field
In the second half it was apparent that Karl was just looking for a spark, as he used different lineups. However, it didn’t work as the Nuggets fell further back. Now Denver is looking at 0-2 deficit in the series and need to bring their A-game on Saturday. And after tonight it is obvious that the No. 1 thing they need to work on for Game 3 is attacking the glass and developing a want-to. Secondly, they really need Afflalo to get healthy.
Topics: Al Harrington, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets, George Karl, Kendrick Perkins, Kenyon Martin, Nene, Oklahoma City Thunder, Raymond Felton, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler