I mentioned the other day that Melo was playing like and NBA Jam videogame character, but I think we can all agree that J.R. Smith is way past heating up.
Smith has been absolutely torching the nets from beyond the arc. In his last two games Smith is 15-27 from three-point range ... a mind numbing 55.5%. J.R. scored 34 points in just 26 minutes last night against the Clippers going 7-14 from three range. J.R. has scored 62 points combined in his last two games.
The Clippers were playing without Marcus Camby, Al Thornton, and Chris Kamen last night and didn't have any answers for Smith and the Nuggets.
Denver cruised to victory last night and put the game basically on ice after the first quarter. The Nuggets earned their 51st win of the season and have a chance to move 2 games ahead of the slumping Spurs after San Antonio lost the Cavaliers earlier today. Denver will be in Minnesota for a 5:00 p.m. tipoff (MTN) against the Timberwolves.
Denver @ Minnesota
Denver 51-26 (20-18 on the road)
Minnesota 22-54 (11-27 at home)
The Nuggets are 3-0 against the Wolves this season and are looking to sweep the series against the Pups today. Minnesota is just 2-8 in their last 10 games, but are coming off an impressive win IN UTAH last Friday (April 3rd).
These teams haven't faced off since December 10th in Denver's 116-105 victory at The Can. If you recall Melo dropped in an NBA record 33 points (matching George Gervin) in the 3rd Quarter in that one on his way to a season high 45 points.
The Wolves have nothing to play for other than to get some of their young guys some burn. One guy I'll be keeping my eyeballs on is Kevin Love. The 6'10'' 260 pound rookie out of UCLA is averaging 11 points and 8.9 rebounds a game this season. He was fun to watch in college and I haven't really had the chance to see him play much.
Love averages just 25 minutes a game, but has seen an increased role averaging 30.2 minutes in his last five contests.
The Nuggets will be looking to add to season high six game win steak tonight.
Views you can use and pregame notes:
- The Nuggets are now 23-6 when the Bird blocks 3+ shots in a game ... Anderson has 11 blocks (8 and 3) in his last two games (both wins)
- Billups shot 4-5 last night scoring 12 points ... the Nuggets are 14-1 when Billups tallies single digit shot attempts