Nuggets at 76ers recap: Miller plays SUPERMAN, Denver wins in overtime

Andre Miller and Nene (20 points and 14 rebounds) helped the Nuggets snap a three-game losing steak to the Philadelphia 76ers with an amazing overtime win, 108-104. It seemed for awhile that whichever team had the ball last would win. Miller scored 10 straight points for the Nuggets, was 12-20 on the night, and finished with 28 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals ... no bucket or steal bigger than his last ones. Miller was Superman indeed ...

If you watched the game, feel free to skip the running diary. If you missed the game, please join me on my crazy journey ...

1st Quarter:

  • Ty Lawson starts the game off by missing a wide-open three, but Elton Brand gets hit with a loose ball foul on the offensive boards. Good sign that Nene is crashing early.
  • Kosta Koufos' start in place of the injured Timofey Mozgov pays off right away as he tips in an Arron Afflalo miss ... 2-0 Nuggets.
  • Jodie Meeks shows Arron Afflalo why dunking is key ... he blows a wide-open layup and it's still 2-0 Nuggets.
  • Koufos catches a touchdown pass, but gets his layup blocked by Nikola Vucevic out of Switzerland by way of USC, he's a rookie and was fairly highly touted before the draft. K2 does get a rebound on the other end ... not a bad start for Koufos.
  • 8:02 mark, Koufos misses an open jumper on the baseline, Vucevic hits a little bunny and it's 10-4 Sixers. Koufos misses again with a baby right hook, he's not afraid to shoot. It will be interesting to see if George Karl will call K2's number later in this game. We're at the 6:50 mark and he's still in. And we hit the first TV timeout at the 6:31 mark ... will there be a substitution?
  • 6:31 mark and Elton Brand has 6 points ... well on his way to smashing his season average of 9.8 points per game. And Koufos is still in.
  • Lawson and Jrue Holiday are of the new lightning-quick breed of point guards that will begin to dominate the NBA.
  • 4:50 mark and Al Harrington and Corey Brewer are in for Koufos and Danilo Gallinari. It's 16-10 Sixers as Thaddeus Young knocks down his first jumper of the night. Young gets an alley-oop as I'm typing and it's 18-10 Philly. Nuggets settling for jumpers, but getting inside a little ... and the Sixers are playing inside-outside game.
  • Last 3:23 to play and Denver needs to get on a run to close the quarter ... AAA hits a jumper: 18-12 now. Oh, David Stern sighting at this game ... wonder if he'd be booed or cheered on jumbotron?

1st QTR Recap: 28-19 Sixers. Philly closed the quarter with a 10-7 run. Nene with an abysmal start ... 1-6 in the period, he missed jumpers and easy ones at the rim. Not the game Denver needs from their best post player. We got a Chris Andersen sighting tonight as he checked in for Nene. Andre Miller and Birdman continue to try to connect on alley-oops ... Bird layed one in. Denver's defense must improve, the offense needs to get a little more aggressive, find a way to stay close, and win this one late. Not a horrific deficit for the Nuggets, but Miller looks lethargic once again for the second unit. Lawson is going to have to log big minutes in order for Denver to get back into this one.

2nd Quarter:

  • Thaddeus Young starts the quarter with a dunk over Andre Miller, it's 30-19 Sixers. Young is going to kill the Nuggets tonight ... already with 10 points. This feels like an ugly one ... Nuggets not ready to fight energy with energy right now.
  • 9:50 mark and everyone on the Sixers is hot tonight ... bad sign ... Evan Turner nails a jumper and it's 36-23.
  • Tony Battie is in the game ... El Busto himself! He's actually been out there for about five game minutes and he has 2 rebounds and 1 assist. He should take a shot - everyone is making them for Philly right now ...
  • The Nuggets slogan of, "Dig In" makes me think of ice cream, I love ice cream.
  • 7:51 mark and Lawson has been back for about a minute, for some reason Miller is still in the game ... looks to be sleep walking out there. Birdman still on the floor, he is bringing the effort and has 6 points, but also a couple misses (one an easy layup). It's 39-29 Sixers ... maybe the Nuggets can lull the Sixers to sleep and go on a run ...
  • 3:50 mark and it's 43-38 Sixers ... Denver is on a 9-3 run. Let's see how the Nuggets finish.
  • 2:50 mark and 'Dre Miller is now 2-2 from three-point land. It's 43-41 Sixers and should be 43-43 as Lawson blew an open lay-in on the previous possession. Miller having a nice game in front of his old home crowd, big bounce back from his slow looking start tonight ... he has 8 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds and he's one of only two Nuggets with a + in +/- with a +6 and Lawson with a +3.
  • Andre Miller is fired up! He's posting up, calling for the ball, and just fed Nene for an And-1 and Denver has the lead back at 44-43. The energy is picking up for Denver and it's contagious, whole team playing differently and credit goes to Birdman and Miller - OLD SCHOOL! Nuggets miss three shots in a row and Miller accentuates an elbow from Brand to get Denver the ball back and Afflalo hits a layup from Nene ... nice cutting and passing! Sixers starting to play one-on-one and Denver using teamwork ... 48-45 Denver.
  • Nuggets use a 26-6 run to close the quarter! Lawson draws a foul with 12 seconds left and goes 1-2 from the line, Nene gets the board, feeds Lawson and he hits a lay-up! GREAT QUARTER FROM DENVER! WOW! They have to WIN this game now.

2nd QTR Recap: 51-45 Nuggets. Birdman may not have the skill to be a top flight player, but he has the right ideas tonight as he's attacking the hoop, cutting down the lane, and being active on the glass. These are reasons why the Bird has had such a successful NBA career - sure he's had his issues, but you can see with him that playing hard does pay off ... he had 6 points in the quarter (8 points total) including 4-4 from the foul line. If Denver is able to win this one ... Bird's quarter will prove to be a big time key.

Andre Miller with a huge quarter, he drew an offensive foul on Brand, hit a couple threes, and looks like he gives a damn for the first time in a few games (while on the floor). Nene leads the team with 9 points and went 2-2 in the second and is now 3-8, but 3-3 at the foul line. Nene is looking more like the beast of the past few games and that's a very good sign for Denver. The Sixers cooled off in the second and allowed the Nuggets to get right back into this game. Will be interesting to see how Philly handles the third quarter ... I expect them to try to get the pace of the game back up and run at Denver's tired legs.

3rd Quarter:

  • Andre Miller on the floor to begin the 3rd as Koufos sits. Karl wants to keep the good small lineup going ... Gallo is going to have to guard Brand on the other end. Thad Young brought in right away ... small ball all night.
  • Nuggets start the quarter with a Lawson missed three and a Gallo missed three on the next possession. Meanwhile, Meeks nails a three. 10:13 mark and Miller fakes another three, drives and gets fouled ... he misses the And-1 though and it's now 53-50 as Young hits a lay-in.
  • 9:03 mark and Miller makes an OUTSTANDING bounce pass down the land around two defenders to Nene for a monster jam off the pick-and-roll. It's 57-50 Nuggets.
  • 7:11 mark and the Nuggets commit their fourth turnover ... Denver starting to look a touch gassed. How will Karl handle this? Nene, as I'm typing, over-powers Young and has an And-1 attempt ... gets it! 60-54 Denver. Nene is key for Denver tonight, but he can't play all 24 second half minutes ...
  • Chris Marlowe comments on a fat guy with his belly dance, "And the jell-o is jiggling in Philadelphia." Nene is out with 4 fouls ... big trouble for Denver. Birdman replaces Nene around the 5:20 mark and Brewer is back in for Lawson.
  • 4:50 mark and Gallo's streak of 24 straight made free throws comes to an end as he goes 1-2 to give Denver a 67-58 lead. 4:27 mark and Harrington comes in for Gallo. We have Miller, AAA, Brewer, Big Al, and Birdman.
  • 3:46 left in the quarter and it's 69-62 Nuggets ... we'll see how Denver closes here.
  • The Sixers close it to 69-67 ... Harrington and Brewer hit back-to-back threes to push the lead back to 75-67. Birdman picks up his 5th foul.

3rd QTR Recap: 78-72 Nuggets. Hoping there is no overtime as Nene has 4 fouls and Birdman has 5 of his own. Miller plays most of the period and looked pretty good. Birdman logged big minutes as well and picked up some bad fouls that led to some free points for Philly. Big shots made by Harrington, Brewer, and Afflalo. The Nuggets energy is still looking good and I expect to see a lot of this lineup: Lawson, Miller, Afflalo, Gallo and Nene. Let's hope that group and some others mixed in can deliver the win! Perhaps Karl will use Harrington in place of Afflalo ... we'll see. Philly likely to use a lot of Lou Williams, Holiday, and Young.

4th Quarter:

  • Here we go ... Nuggets ball to start it and ... Bird gets fouled off a pick-and-roll with Lawson. Birdman at the line and goes: 0-2 ... not good. Denver using Lawson, Afflalo, Brewer, Harrington, and Birdman ... I was getting worried about that group and they are still in.
  • And with 11:23 to go Birdman fouls out ... nice second quarter from him ... Nene in for Birdman.
  • 10:30 ... one minute and tons of sloppy play. Brewer ends it all with a crazy made layup. 80-72 Nuggets.
  • Violet Palmer calls Harrington for a charge out on the perimeter ... she must be blind. One of the worst officials in the league.
  • 8:42 mark and Violet Palmer calls Afflalo for a reach in and gives Turner and And-1 opportunity ... can we vote her off the island? Did she have some horrific experience on a ski lift in Colorado? She is one of a couple officials who just always seems to have something out for the Nuggets. It's unreal. And Turner hits the And-1 and it's 82-75 Nuggets.
  • 7:18 mark and Philly on a 9-0 run, it's 82-81 Nuggets. Where is Gallo? The Nuggets are a bit lost on offense and need a timeout ... Karl gets one as the lead is now gone. We have a ballgame!
  • Back from the above timeout and the lineup is now: Lawson, Miller, Afflalo, Harrington, and Nene. The Nuggets need Gallo on the floor. The play after the timeout: Miller feeds Nene, he passes to AAA and AAA bricks a bad three. Philly gets a tip in after a miss and it's 83-82 Sixers.
  • 6:20 and Gallo is in for Harrington. Nuggets looking like they did to open the game. Waiting too long in shot clock, shooting jumpers, and no passing. Denver almost in the penalty ... not good ... 13-0 run and it's 85-82 Philly.
  • Miller gets a bucket with his usual baseline jumper to end the Denver drought ... 85-84 Philly.
  • 3:51 remaining ... Nene misses a layup, Brand with a dunk, Violet Palmer refuses to blow her whistle as Brand bodies and hacks Lawson on a layup ... Philly ball. We'll see how Denver closes this game, down 87-86.

4th QTR Recap: 96-96 tied up going to overtime. What a quarter ... Andre Miller scores Denver's last 10 points. I'm running around and sliding on the wood floors in my socks, clapping for the effort of Miller and the Nuggets. This has been a wild and crazy game. Violet "I hate Denver" Palmer calls a foul trying to ruin the great ending as Iggy drove the lane, but he missed a free throw and now the Nuggets will play their first OT game of the year! Wow. Miller missed a long corner three or long two to win it for Denver with just 4 seconds left ... this is nuts!

Overtime:

  • Who has the legs to finish this game for the Nuggets?
  • Karl goes with: Miller, Lawson, AAA, Big Al, and Nene. Nuggets get the jump ball ... Lawson waits out the shot clock and gets to the rim ... 98-96 Nuggets.
  • Evan Turner buries a jumper ... this guy kills the Nuggets too! 98-98.
  • 3:30 and Brand buries an open jumper at the foul line ... 100-98 Sixers.
  • Nene bulls Brand and gets the layup ... 100-100. Nene has been begging for the ball in the post ... he ain't scared. Turnover Denver, Young with uncontested jam.
  • 2:00 left and we're tied again ... Nene jam and it's 102-102 ...
  • Young hits a tough jumper out at the top of the key and it's 104-102 Sixers.
  • Afflalo from the foul line after a near Sixer steal ... 104-104. One minute left!!!!!!
  • Violet Palmer with a charging call FOR DENVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nene gets the call in his favor and it was a horrific one ... Palmer helps Denver, but it was an awful call. Harrington was holding his hand ... injured, he stays in.
  • Andre Miller buries a jumper off a pick-and-roll with Nene from the foul line ... 'Dre Day All Day! 106-104 Nuggets. Denver back with the tie or lead scenario ... 42.3 seconds to go and I've lost my effing mind!
  • There is a timeout ... I can't stand this. Great game here. Both teams really battling ... basketball wins again!
  • Sixers shoot a three ... they miss! Denver's Nene with a big rebound!
  • Miller misses a jumper to seal it ... MILLER GETS THE STEAL OFF A HOLIDAY ERRANT PASS!!!!!! MILLER IS FOULED! Denver ball on the side ... inbound to Afflalo and he is fouled and at the line ...
  • Afflalo nails the first freebie! To ice the game ... Afflalo ... NAILS IT! Denver is up 108-104!
  • NUGGETS WIN 108-104! WOWZA!

Game recap: Wow! Just wow!

This game seemed like a lost cause during the first quarter as the Nuggets faced a double-digit lead. In the second, the Nuggets used a 26-6 run and a 32-17 quarter to take a 51-45 lead into the half. The third quarter saw the Nuggets retain their lead, but Philly showed signs of fighting back. In the fourth ... the Sixers had a 13-0 run of their own and claimed a four point lead late in the game. Andre Miller buried one of his many big shots on the night by making his third three pointer in as many tries to bring the Nuggets back down just one.

The teams traded buckets in the last minute and Miller scored 10 points in a row for the Nuggets. With Denver up just one point (96-95), Andre Iguodala drove the lane, was pushed a bit by Corey Brewer and the ref (Violet "I hate Denver" Palmer) blew her whistle ... you rarely, if ever, see that. Iggy missed the first freebie and made the second. Miller, with four seconds left, took the last shot, fittingly, and missed his first three of the night. To overtime we would go.

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!

Views you can use ...

  1. Andre Miller missed a triple-double, but filled up the stat line with 28 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals. He shot 12-20 from the field (3-4 from deep, 1-2 from the foul line). What a game by 'Dre Day!

  2. I said in the preview that Denver needed a big game from Nene as he had been averaging around 16 and 9 over the last couple games. Well, Nene started 1-6 from the field and looked a little off, but he was being aggressive. After the slow start, Nene went 7-9 to finish the game 8-15 from the floor and 4-4 from the foul line. His final stat line: 20 points, 14 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 assists, and 1 block.

  3. Al Harrington with a nice and quiet game for Denver with 12 points and 8 rebounds (2 offensive).

  4. Lawson played 45 minutes and put up 13 points and 7 assists, he was key tonight.

  5. Gallo played 33 minutes and was just 1-3 from the field for a final stat line of 3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 assist. Gallo didn't look very aggressive tonight ... I wonder how his bum wheel is holding up?

Nate_Timmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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