Thunder Vs. Nuggets, NBA Christmas Day: Nene Making Up For Carmelo Anthony's Absence

No 'Melo, no problem? That's what the Nuggets' Nene is trying to prove.

Nene has 13 points and six rebounds, leading all players in both categories, and the Nuggets have a 34-26 lead in Oklahoma City.

This is not at all how the Thunder would like for this game to go, obviously, but their two rising stars will have to step it up to start flipping the script. Russell Westbrook has made just two of seven shots, and Kevin Durant's two turnovers have helped mute the impact of his 10 points.

The Thunder might also want to stop fouling. They've already committed nine personal fouls and allowed the Nuggets to take 11 free throws. That's not a recipe for success against any team, much less one that is motivated to show it could still be good without its putative star.

But, with Anthony still firmly untraded despite the best efforts of the NBA rumor mill, the Nuggets' success in this game is still mostly a flash of what a post-Anthony future might be like. It's not much of a flash, really, but it's promising.

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