In the first half, Carmelo Anthony was struggling. ‘Melo was just 2-17 shooting in the first half and was way too reliant on the jumper. However, thankfully for the Nuggets Allen Iverson was on his game and scored 18 of the Nuggets first 26 points and dished two assists to keep Denver in the game.
Enter Chucky Atkins for the first time this regular season.
Chucky entered the game with the score, 23-16, with just over a minute to play in the first quarter and instantly sparked the Nuggs. There was no big ovation. There was no montage on the jumbotron. In fact, I didn’t even notice that he came into the game until someone’s shot went up that didn’t look like any of the more familiar Nuggets shot it. Atkins missed his first attempt of the season, but it didn’t take Chucky long to get it going in the second quarter. With nine minutes remaining until half, Atkins (who made a lay-up earlier in the quarter) hit two back-to-back three pointers off of AI dimes to give the Nuggets a, 32-27, lead of which the Nuggets would battle hard with to finish the half up by two, 44-42.
After starting the game shooting the ball horrendously, ‘Melo regained his touch and hit all eight of his shots in the period scoring 16 of the Nuggets 29 points. The Nuggets improved their advantage to, 73-69, at the end of the third, but the Rockets weren’t done fighting. In the fourth, the Rockets clamped down on defense and scored in bunches off of seven lay-ups to tie the game at 94 after scoring the regulation’s last seven points while holding the Nuggets scoreless in the last two minutes.
‘Melo and AI weren’t done scoring yet and split all eight of the Nuggets first overtime period’s points. Houston had more of a rounded effort with Shane Battier hitting a three, Luther Head popping a jumper, Bonzi Wells making yet another lay-up, and Rafer Alston tying it all up again by making only one of two attempts from the free-throw line with under a minute to play in OT.
Enter double OT.
The Nuggets, perhaps taking a cue from the Houston Rockets in the first OT, banded together as a team to score ten points off of Carmelo Anthony hitting the front end of two free-throws, another Chucky Atkins three-pointer, seven-foot jumper, and an assist to Marcus Camby for a ten-foot floater, and no bucket was bigger coming out of the game's final timout than the game-winning, up-and-under 15-foot jumper that the unsung hero, Anthony Carter, hit to win the game with no time on the clock!
Nuggets win! I repeat, NUGGETS WIN!
Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets in scoring with a huge stat line reading 37 points, a career-high 16 rebounds off of 12 gianormous offensive boards, three steals, two blocks, and two assists. Allen Iverson was right alongside ‘Melo with his 36 points, nine assists (only one turnover in 57 minutes), five rebounds, and two steals. The unsung hero, Anthony Carter, finished with six points, eight assists, and four rebounds and Chucky “come lately” Atkins was the only other Nuggets player to score in double figures with 13 points.
There was a Marcus Camby sighting too! The chairman of the boards finished with a team-high 18 rebounds, six blocks, and the aforementioned deuce in the second overtime period.
One sour side note about this otherwise fantastic game is Kenyon Martin left the floor in the third quarter with a leg injury and did not return. His status is questionable for tonight’s game against the Trailblazers. However, K-Mart did have an impact when he did play scoring eight points, grabbing ten rebounds, and blocking three shots.
Denver now plays again tonight in Portland against a Trailblazer team that is due for a loss after winning their last nine games.