Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
We are done with moral victories and things of that sort. The Nuggets showed they are good enough to play with anyone and they also showed tonight that they can go toe-to-toe when the going gets rough. Unfortunately, missed opportunities cost the Nuggets a big win on the road in Boston tonight.
Game recap: This was an incredible seesaw battle that Denver was out of early, made a comeback, fought to get the game into overtime, and then lost in agony in the end.
The argument of superstar over team will live on as the national media will point to Kevin Garnett going 3-5 in the third overtime to help the C's get the big win and their seventh straight. Andre Miller will take a lot of heat for his play in the final overtime, but he should also take heat for his play throughout the game as well.
Miller finished the night 7-18 for 15 points and was 1-3 from three point land. Two of those threes were back-breaking misses coming at very poor times. In addition to the last three he missed, Miller took and missed a three with :47 seconds to play and his team down 92-90. It's a shot he has proven he cannot hit with any sort of consistency, but he continues to fire away at his team's expense.
Crunch time numbers:
From the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter through the final OT period - here are the Nuggets numbers:
Gallo: 5-10 for 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Played 20 min.
Miller: 3-10 for 6 points, 3 assists, and 2 turnovers. Played 19:24.
Lawson: 4-8 for 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. Played 19:57.
Faried: 2-3 for 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 fouls. Played 12:16.
Chandler: 0-2 for 0 points and 2 rebounds. Played 10:11.
McGee: 0-1 for 1 point, 5 rebounds and 1 block. Played 17:14.
Gallinari hit some huge shots for Denver and missed a tough layup at the end of the second OT that would have won the game. He continues to show that he can be trusted late in games and needs to be incorporated even more into the offense late. Lawson was also very good, but needed to asset himself a bit more. Lawson missed a three that would have won the game for Denver as well.
I can't call this anything other than what it is - a disappointing loss. It was a crazy game, a sloppy game, and fun to watch (to a degree). Rough loss for the Nuggets. George Karl applauds his team for bouncing back after tough losses; they'll get their shot in Toronto soon enough.
Making matters worse is that Andre Iguodala suffered an injury and is listed as day-to-day.
Below is my running diary of the game ...
Chris Marlowe uses the phrase: team-ness in the build up to the game ... don't all teams play team basketball? Saw Wilson Chandler during warm-ups, will he play? Can Danilo Gallinari get going early? What about Ty Lawson? So many questions ... and the game is underway!
-Celtics up 3-0 early. Long leak out pass from Kevin Garnett to Avery Bradley and Gallo blocks the shot! Gallo blocks Paul Pierce's jumper and it's a block party for Gallo. He had a couple nice blocks against the Cavaliers last night, too. It's 5-0 C's and Denver needs a bucket ... bad. Nuggets are like 0-4 shooting with a bazillion turnovers already - all numbers are approximate.
-It's 9-0 Boston and Denver has 4 actual turnovers ... this is the type of start that Denver needed to avoid. I thought it was likely this would happen, but was hoping the starters would come out playing focused. Instead, the team is playing sloppy and don't seem to have their legs as shots are hitting the front of the rim. Karl takes a quick timeout with about eight minutes left in the period. Nuggets come out of the timeout with a 9-3 run to get back into the game. Hooray! It's 14-11 Celtics now and Doc Rivers takes a timeout.
-Ty Lawson playing with the second unit guys and Chandler is playing today, good to see. It's 21-17 Boston with Chris Wilcox at the foul line and he bricks the first and makes the second. McGee looking good early with a nice post move and box out on a defensive board.
Quarter recap: 29-19 Celtics. Nuggets committed 7 turnovers in the period and find themselves down 10 points. Celtics shoot 11-21 from the field and 3-4 from deep - tighten up the defense and take care of the ball. Not looking great for Denver thus far, still a long way to go, and Nuggets haven't gotten control of the pace yet.
-Miller swishes a three to start the period - 29-22 C's and I nearly spit up water as that shot ripped net. Chandler gets a steal and a block on a couple defensive possessions, 31-23 C's. Wil nails a long too as well, must have had a toe on the line.
-Nuggets running Miller, Brewer, Gallo, Chandler, and Faried right now. Miller has not played well in this one ... he's 1-2 shooting, but has 3 turnovers. Gallo also is as cold as ice tonight, 0-4 shooting and taking as many difficult shots as possible. Gallo needs to go to the rack. It's 36-27 C's.
-It's 46-36 Celtics with 3:00 minutes to play ... Denver has to keep it at 10 points or under if they want a legit shot in the fourth quarter to win it. I don't like their chances if it's 10+ in the second half. But really, what do I know?
Quarter recap: 50-46 Celtics (27-21 C's in quarter). It has been an ugly half for Denver, but they are still in striking distance of Kevin Garnett and his grabbing self. The Nuggets have 11 turnovers (4 in the quarter), but are showing some resiliency. Chandler is playing solid defense, Faried and Lawson lead the team with 8 points each, and Denver has 8 offensive boards.
Boston is being led by Jason Terry's 10 points off the bench. Guy is lighting it up and Boston is 5-9 from deep. Pierce has 9 points and Bradley has 8 points of his own. Boston leads the assist game at 14-9.
At the half: The Nuggets again need to get control of the tempo, turn up the defense, and keep attacking the rim. It'd be nice to see a few more assists too - that should come with better ball movement and hopefully the team can create some easier looks for their teammates.
-We are two minutes in and the Nuggets finally score as Gallo hits an UGLY jumper in the lane ... 55-48 Boston with 9:35 to play.
-Faried with perhaps the play of the game for Denver! Courtney Lee with a steal on Gallo, Lawson challenges the open court layup, Faried blocks the shot, and Lawson nails a three on the other end ... 55-51 C's instead of 57-48 - remember that play.
-At the 6:57 mark and Boston is now in the penalty because the refs are calling two different games. Letting Boston play physical and not allowing Denver to breath on anyone in white. This is crap. It's 65-55 Boston. These refs stink.
Quarter recap: 78-70 Celtics (28-24 C's in quarter). Nuggets made a nice run to close the quarter, but gave up a killer three to Barbosa at the end ... ouch. Big quarter coming.
4th Quarter: We hear Iguodala has a cervical strain and will not return. Not good.
-With 9:53 left in the game it's 78-78 now as Andre Miller goes crazy for a 4 point outburst with a jumper and layup. We've seen Denver turn it on late at home, can they do it tonight?
-It's 87-83 Boston with 4:22 left ... Andre Miller in straight scorer mode and he misses a jumper and is 4-9 in the game. And Miller comes back with a fastbreak layup to make it 89-85 C's. Big rebound for Denver and Lawson goes off to the races, finds Faried and he puts it in with a foul coming on KG - timeout as it's 89-87 Denver with Faried heading to the free throw line ... and he makes the And-1 to bring it to within one: 89-88 C's.
-With 2:10 to play Denver gets a big stop, Faried goes BALLISTIC with McGee on the boards and they get the ball, Lawson cans a jumper, and Faried gets a technical after the make ... Terry makes the free throw. Faried threw Pierce down with a forearm after the Lawson make ... we've seen that called before. Paul Pierce on the next possession loses the ball out of bounds - refs will review it on Doc's request ... ball goes back to Boston - looked to me like it was off Miller.
-90-90 with 1:25 to play and it's again Boston's ball as Gallo nearly steals the inbound pass ... Nuggets steal the inbound off an alley-oop attempt ...
-Miller goes to the post and bricks it inside ... no passes on that possession. Jeff Green cans a jumper and an opportunity feels lost ... 92-90 C's.
-Miller shoots a three and airballs it ... WHAT IS HE DOING????
-Miller goes charging into the teeth of the defense and dishes to Faried, Kenneth gets fouled and misses the first free throw after a tough layup attempt.
-Faried misses the second and Miller gets the board, but misses the put-back attempt. Ball goes off of Faried out of bounds.
Quarter recap: 92-92 and heading for overtime (22-14 Denver).
-Denver playing with a lead after a Faried put-back and a Miller layup. The old guys keeping Boston in with Pierce and KG both with jumpers. 97-96 Denver with 2:54 to play.
-This game has aged me five years ... Miller buries a jumper it's 99-96 Denver. Boston had about 45 offensive rebounds the possession before and couldn't score. This is nuts.
-Jeff Green buries a three to tie things up at 99-99 as the Nuggets lose him in rotation and leave him WIDE open in the corner.
-Just 5.6 seconds left and Denver has the ball. Celtics took their last foul and now Denver has to hustle just a bit ...
-Lawson launches a three from the top of the key ... good look, but misses the shot bad to the left. Double overtime.
-I don't know what is happening anymore. Lawson hits a runner, C's miss, Miller miss, C's miss, Chandler misses, C's lose the ball, Gallo hits a crazy left-handed layup ... 103-99 Nuggets. Please end this thing. Oh there is 2:45 left.
-Denver has gone ice cold ... it's 103-101 Denver with 1:01 to play. Another out of bounds review and it appears it should be Denver's ball off of Green. Refs give it to Boston.
-Garnett cans an open jumper ... tied up again.
-Gallo NAILS a jumper over KG with :37 ticks left and it's 105-103 Denver. Unreal. Big shot from the top of the key just inside the three point line.
-Miller doing all the can do win and lose this game for Denver. This time he fouls Pierce to give him two free throws. This is just unreal.
-Celtics are fired up this OT and the Nuggets look lethargic. Oldest guy on the floor, KG, has the most energy and has hit three jumpers this period. It's 113-110 Boston. Nuggets need to make some big plays to get this one.
-Gallo buries a desperation three over KG ... how did he make that one? Tied at 113.
-Terry answers with a three of his own ... 116-113 Boston.
-Gallo misses a three, Lawson rebound, Gallo goes to the rack with ball and is fouled ... goes to the line.
-Nuggets get a huge stop and Miller loses the ball on the other end ...
-Miller takes a very very very very very very very ill-advised three and the Nuggets will lose it 118-114. Wow.
Game recap: First OT was 7-7, second OT was 8-8, and third OT was 11-7 Celtics. Tough way to lose 118-114.
Opposition's take: CelticsBlog
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