When the chips are down, and you need someone to step up...Al Harrington is there to take the call!
That was a strange one
I'll start us off with a brief anecdote. About midway through halftime, I took a break from watching tonight's Denver Nuggets defeat the Houston Rockets 107-94, to play my guitar and chill. I hear a shout from downstairs that "the game is back on!!" I rush to put my guitar away and it falls on my foot. After screaming 10,000 expletives I make it out of my bedroom and proceed to tumble head first down the stairs, crashing into the sliding glass door at the bottom of the landing. Needless to say, it took me a quarter to stop hurting.
Anyway. Al Harrington certainly showed his value this evening with 28 points in 29 minutes. While his shooting percentage was a bit lacking, he made up for it by grabbing 10 rebounds and hitting a couple clutch three point shots towards the end of the game.
This was certainly needed as it was an odd game to get your mind around. First off the officiating was a bit...erratic for BOTH teams. Kevin Martin flopped and yelled his way to three phantom foul calls (including one on Melo where he didn't even touch Martin). A rookie official nearly called a blocking foul when it was clearly a charge on Chauncey (the rookie was overruled) and that particular official made two turnover calls on Houston that should have gone the other way (including a ball that clearly went off of Ty Lawson's leg).
We also had Nene hitting a three point shot for the first time in two years (ironically it came against Houston) and a very sluggish offensive performance by the Nuggets through three quarters. Off nights can be expected on the second night of a back-to-back. What was AMAZING was the lockdown defense and steady offense which ultimately won the game for the Nuggets. All-in-all an extremely satisfying performance that could mean good things for the future.
Harrington: 28 points, 10 rebounds and some clutch three point shooting at the end of the game. I'm starting to see why Mark Warkentien signed Big Al. He's looking like he's recovered from the foot injury and is starting to round into shape after three games.
Carmelo Anthony: 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists. Melo is playing a better all-around game than I've ever seen. He seems to be content to move the ball around and pick the team up when the offense is sluggish (as he did in the 2nd and 3rd quarters). I believe that Melo is finally understanding how to make people better and still have a great game. Plus he had two fantastic blocks.
Arron Afflalo: 10 points and good defense on Kevin Martin. AAA did what he could tonight when his shot just wasn't falling. He also provided a spark early in the fourth quarter when the Nuggets needed a bit of energy
Shelden Williams: Eight rebounds and TONS of effort. Nice to see him get a couple blocks and some great effort in keeping plays alive.
Nuggets of Wisdom
This is a great win to build on. Second night of back-to-backs on the road are hard to win, no matter who you are, including the best in the league. The Denver Nuggets hustled, gutted it out and played their way to a great win over a quality opponent, despite what Houston's current record indicates (0-3).
Now the Nuggets get four days of rest before playing the Dallas Mavericks at home on Wednesday night.