As Carmelo Anthony's time with the Denver Nuggets comes to a close they are supposed to be struggling, fighting and not cohesive. After losing three games in row, the Nuggets have bounced back with two straight wins, scoring 262 points combined. After bating the Miami Heat 130-102 on Thursday night, the Nuggets have scored 130 points in consecutive games for the first time this season.
Denver had seven players score in double figures Thursday, led by J.R. Smith with 28 points and 'Melo chipping in 21 points. On the other side of the court the Nuggets were able to hold Dwayne Wade to 16 points on 7-19 shooting. Wade was coming off two consecutive 30-point games.
It does need to be noted that Miami was without LeBron James. Essentially, James Jones, Eddie House and Mike Miller took up his minutes and they combined for 25 points (all 15 off Eddie House's points came in garbage time).
The Heat loss gives them a two-game losing streak and evens up the road trip record at 2-2. They finish up the five-game roadie with an interesting Eastern Conference battle Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls are 17-3 at home and have won seven straight games at the United Center.
Thunder 125, Magic 124
Kevin Durant got the Oklahoma City Thunder off on the right foot (insert Wes Welker/Rex Ryan joke here) with a 16-point first quarter. He later closed the door on the Orlando Magic, dropping a 10-foot floater over Dwight Howard with eight seconds left, plus the two game clinching free throws, to give the Thunder a 125-124 win.
In the battle of the superstars with the crappy nicknames, the Durantula (forced and really doesn't make sense) put up 36 points on 13-17 shooting, while Dwight Howard aka Superman (most uncreative nickname in the NBA) posted a monstrous line with 39 points, 18 boards and two blocks -- he even hit 17-20 from the free throw line.
Don't worry Mr. Westbrook, I didn't forget you. Between Durant's fast start and finish his sidekick Russell Westbrook did everything in-between. Westbrook had an impressive triple double with 32 points, 13 assists and 10 boards. Russ was 5-10 from 10-23 feet according to hoopdata.com, and when he has the midrange game going he is virtually impossible to stop.
I get the feeling Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and his black pinstripe suit weren't too happy with Orlando's defensive performance as the Thunder shot 56 percent from the field. The Thunder's hot shooting helped them overcome the Magic's 14 three-pointers.
For those who missed it, enjoy these 2:30 of highlights:
Kevin Love continued to state his case for the All-Star Game as he dominated the Washington Wizards with 35 points, 11 rebounds and five three-pointers. Love picked up the slack for teammate Michael Beasley, who missed Thursday night's game with a sprained ankle.
The difference in this game was the Timberwolves' work on the offensive boards and from behind the arc. Look across the box score and everything is very similar, but Minnesota had an extra 11 shots due to 15 offensive rebounds and the Wolves hit four more threes.
The loss dropped Washington to 0-19 on the road for the season.