Not a whole lot to say about that game last night. Denver had no reason to be fired up after learning Dallas had defeated Houston. Just how I am not very fired up to write up this recap. Most of us saw the game or lack there of ...
The Nuggets came out and actually played a close first quarter and after Kenyon Martin's emphatic put-back dunk on Carmelo Anthony's three-point miss ... I hoped George Karl would bench the starters.
But as the second quarter got under way and Denver trailed by one 23-22 the starters (Melo and Nene) remained in the game. Portland went on a 12-0 run and just like that Denver's players were in there for no reason at all and it showed.
I can't recall a play where Denver took the ball to the hoop. Jump shot city took over as the Nuggets scored just 12 points in the second period. I spent most of the quarter debating if it was good that the Nuggets were going to play the Hornets and the game in front of me seemed like a complete afterthought.
Denver went to the half down 53-34 as the Nuggets never got out of the "shoot around" mode.
For some reason the Nuggets came out in the second half and played the regular starters. But in the third quarter the Nuggets played with a little energy and actually seemed to care a bit. With just over four minutes to play in the quarter Billups hit a three, made an And1 layup, followed by a Kenyon jumper, and then a J.R. jumper.
The Nuggets cut the lead to 63-58 on a 24-10 run and for a minute I started thinking, "Hey we have a chance here ... wait ... why are our key guys playing? Is 55 wins worth an injury risk?"
And before I could blink the Blazers took control of the game with an 8-2 run to end the quarter (71-60). From there we saw Portland turn in a Nuggets vs. Kings-esque performance.
Rudy Fernandez did his best J.R. Smith impersonation and hit two his game high 6 three-pointers in the fourth. Fernandez was 6-9 on the night from distance and broke the rookie record for threes made in a season with 159 over Kerry Kittles 158.
I found myself a bit upset that Fernandez was taking meaningless threes at the end of the game just to get the record ... and I felt Bobby Jackson's pain! Pretty funny moment for me.
Anyhow ... the Nuggets roll into the playoffs winners of 14 of their previous 17 and face a tough New Orleans Hornets team starting this Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. mountain on TNT.
I'll be posting much more in my preview of the series vs. the Hornets coming soon!
I'm going to put out a detailed Nuggets vs. Hornets preview ASAP ... I was asked by J.E. Skeets of Ball Don't Lie of Yahoo! Sports for a Nuggets preview and it's due out tomorrow. I'll link to it as soon as it's up.