Denver, with its starters in for the first half, jumped out to a twelve point lead at the break mainly due to attacking the basket early and often. Kenyon, Anthony, and Iverson all had really nice takes to the cup with the Nuggets in total scoring 22 points on either driving lay-ups or dunks. Shooting percentages were high at this point with 18 more points coming off of the charity stripe, but once the starters were summoned back to the bench all things statistically went down hill.
And so did the defense in the third quarter as the Nuggets allowed Phoenix to score 39 points in total including four three-pointers and only rebutted with 15 points of their own.
A once 12-point Nugget lead was suddenly erased and replaced with a 12-point advantage for Phoenix and George Karl had seen enough. It was time to see if the Nugget reserves could provide the courage to somehow win with a mountain to climb. And to their credit, they did fight valiantly to the end.
Offensively, the Nuggets were paced by the dynamic duo of Allen Iverson (24 points and three assists) and Carmelo Anthony (22 points and five rebounds). Only two other Nuggets, (Bobby Jones and J.R. Smith), scored in double figures in comparison to seven for the Suns.
Up next for the Nuggets are the Portland Trailblazers in Portland tomorrow night. Hopefully a more favorable outcome is in store for the Nuggets Nation.