It must be immediately brought to your attention that the Nuggets have now held their last three opponents (Cavaliers, Trailblazers, and Knicks) to below 40% shooting from the field. In addition, tonight the Nuggets didn’t even give up a twenty-point scorer, forced 17 turnovers directly translating into 18 points, as a team swatted eleven shots, and out rebounded the Knicks, 51-46. Marcus Camby continues to lead the Nuggets charge and tonight squeezed 20 rebounds, passed out six assists, scored six points, and demolished five Knick shots in only 29 minutes.
And it seems as the Nuggets defense gets better and better so does their offense.
Denver held the Knicks to just 40 points in the first half and 43 in the second as they reeled off 25+ in each quarter while book ending New York with 30+ quarters in both the first and the fourth.
Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-high 24 points fitting nicely with his game-high six assists, three rebounds, and two blocked shots all without even playing in the fourth quarter. He threw an unbelievable behind the neck pass on the fast break to Kenyon Martin for a powerful jam, shot a one-handed bullet pass to Allen Iverson for a reverse lay-up, caught an acrobatic alley-oop from Marcus Camby, and only had one turnover while shooting 11-18 from the field including 2-2 from the land of plenty.
Allen Iverson almost matched ‘Melo in scoring with 23 points and four assists, but Yakhouba Diawara was the only other starter to score in double figures with ten points three rebounds, and three assists.
But the bench was more than enough to keep George Karl satisfied because their tremendous effort meant he didn’t have to play any of his starters more than 35 minutes. Denver’s reserves, led by Linas Kleiza’s 18 points and Bobby Jones’ eight rebounds, combined for 46 points, 18 rebounds, 12 assists, four steals, and only one turnover. Many of them were instrumental in the Nuggets being able to out score the Knicks 28-6 in fast break points, tie this season’s high for assists at 32, and deliver the fifth win by more than 17 points so far this year.
At least this time around Isiah Thomas and his crew took their beating like grown men. There was a moment in the fourth quarter where I had a feeling of déjà vu when Linas Kleiza was out on the dunking end of a run out and I thought something bad might happen. Thankfully, nothing did happen and the Nuggets don’t have to see Thomas or his crew until next year.