The Denver Nuggets are now 5-1 since trading Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, thanks to a rollicking 103-101 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday. The game was as competitive as any between the Rocky Mountain rivals in recent times, with three lead changes in the final five minutes and a sequence that very nearly sent the game to overtime.
With the Jazz down five, Devin Harris hit a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left on the clock to get Utah within two. Kenyon Martin had to inbound the pass; the Jazz might have been able to foul quickly to squeeze out one more prayer, but it's more like that Denver could have run a good portion of the 1.2 seconds off and ended the game.
Instead, Martin passed the ball to Andrei Kirilenko. Luckily for the Nuggets, Kirilenko didn't know what to do with it.
The toss-in from Martin was so bad that Kirilenko must have been caught completely off-guard, as he clearly had no idea where he was in relation to the rim. Tyrone Corbin's reaction says it all.
The old Nuggets were excellent in this one, as Ty Lawson had 23 points and Arron Afflalo added 19. Danilo Gallinari didn't play, and Wilson Chandler had just six points. The Jazz, meanwhile, have gone 1-7 since Jerry Sloan retired. Al Jefferson had 19 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, but this is clearly a team in transition. (Transition from the playoffs to the lottery.)