In an overtime game where seemingly every player on each team made big shots and big plays, Andre Miller rose above the rest, nearly capturing a triple-double while hitting all the key shots for the Nuggets as Denver went into Philadelphia and knocked off the red hot 76ers 108-104 Wednesday night.
The Sixers got a game the way they've liked it in winning nine of their last 10 games coming in: lots of isolation plays and spot up shots and forcing the Nuggets to do the same. It worked well for the first quarter, where the home team jumped on the Nuggets early, but Denver caught on and inserted Miller and Al Harrington in the second quarter and, even though the tempo was still a Philly pace, the Nuggets grabbed the halftime lead.
Down the stretch the teams traded punches, nobody was missing and everybody was stepping up. Andre Iguodala was putting the finishing touches on his neart triple-double (11 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists), and Evan Turner (nine fourth quarter points), and Thaddeus Young (22 points, 7 rebounds) came through for Philadelphia. For Denver, Nene (20 points, 14 rebounds) and Ty Lawson (13 points, 7 assists) played the Nuggets into the game.
But it was the play of Andre Miller that surpassed them all.
Miller had 12 points in the fourth quarter, personally shooting Denver into a tie with the Sixers late in the game. He missed the shot that could have won it at the buzzer in regulation, but made up for it in overtime. Miller, with the game tied at 104, handled the ball on a pick-and-roll with Nene, a play that had yielded 5-5 baskets when Nene took the pass off the PNR. The Sixers sagged off Miller, who calmly put down the midrange jump shot, giving him 28 points to go with eight rebounds and 10 assists for his night's work.
The Sixers still had a chance at the end, but Jrue Holliday drove into the lane and left his feet. When he desperately turned and tried to pass back outside, he threw it right into the hands of the player of the night -- Andre Miller. Game over.
Nate Timmons at Denver Stiffs loved the game and couldn't say enough about 'Dre:
You can see the possession by possession breakdown of OT above ... but wow. Lawson, Miller, and Nene were totally unafraid to take big shots and make them. The Nuggets battled back in this one and got a great effort from many different faces.
Miller hit the big shot to give Denver the lead, Miller had the big steal at the end, and Afflalo hit two big free throws to ice the game for the Nuggets.
That was by far the best game of the season from a competitive standpoint. The Nuggets needed to answer the Philly run, make big shots under pressure, and get defensive stops to win the game. They did it, thanks to Millers 28 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals in 39 minutes. Miller Time!
Meanwhile, at Liberty Ballers, Jordan Sams concurred about Miller's performance on the night, and breaks down the clutch Miller shot that helped nudge the game into overtime:
Miller was also responsible for the play of the game. The Nuggets trailed by one with 16 seconds remaining with the ball in Andre Miller'shands. Defended by Andre Iguodala - arguably the game's best perimeter defender - Miller put Iguodala in the washer with a series of crossovers and pump fakes, capped off by an easy four-foot shot to give the Nuggets the lead. The basket concluded a stretch where Miller scored 10 consecutive points for the Nuggets. Whatever the Nuggets needed, whenever the Nuggets needed, Andre Miller came through time and again in a truly unbelievable performance. He also made three three-pointers in one game for the first time since 2000.