The score says Spurs 113-112 over the Nuggets...but we know differently don't we?
I'll start with the good stuff.
While I give the Spurs credit for climbing back in to the game after the Nuggets were up by 12 at one point in the first half, the way this "win" was "awarded" to them was nothing short of highway robbery. Regardless of where you come down on the charging issue, the fact that for maybe the first time in recorded NBA history a game winning shot was nullified by a charging call. In the 25 years I've been watching basketball I have NEVER seen this. Ever. Carmelo Anthony deserved much better.
Before the last two minutes we had the typical Nuggets vs. Spurs game. You know the type. Lot's of fouling by the Spurs that mysteriously didn't get called. The Nuggets getting flustered and making mistakes because of it. Tim Duncan's eyes bugging out of his sockets. Manu being...well, Manu. Although doing a great job containing him in the first half.
Here's the Nuggets and Spurs scoring rundown
Carmelo Anthony: 31 pts 9 rebs
Nene: 19 pts 5 rebs
Arron Afflalo: 20 pts 5 rebs 4 ast
Ty Lawson: 15 pts 7 ast
Al Harrington: 12 pts
Tim Duncan: 28 pts 16 rebs
Manu Ginoboli: 16 pts
Tony Parker: 24 pts 9 ast
Richard Jefferson: 13 pts
When you look at the stats, you have to wonder exactly "how" the Spurs won this game. The Nuggets controlled things for three quarters but lost momentum at the end of the third and halfway through the fourth. After falling down by 9 several times the Nuggets clawed their way back and fluctuated with the Spurs between 5 points down and one point ahead. Then we have the last 30 seconds.
With 24 seconds left, with the Spurs up by 3 Carmelo drove to the basket and scored easily. Then, when the Spurs attempted to inbound the ball was deflected by a good by combined defensive play from JR and Melo and Carmelo scored easily again. Nuggets up by one with seven seconds left. One the Spurs offensive play, a designed wing rollout by Manu Ginobili was successful (and was the best pure shot he had taken all night without, you know, flopping) which put the Spurs again up by one.
Then the fateful play occured. Melo got the ball at the top of the circle and easily swung around Richard Jefferson (who was having a hard time stopping Melo) and drove to the hoop. Leaping in the air he collided with Manu Ginobili and made the basket...the crowd went NUTS. But on the wing Rodney Mott was signaling it was a charge, as was Haywoode Workman. A charge was called. Now, on further review it appears that Ginobili's left foot isn't set, and his shoulders are turned. To add to the confusion Ginobili JUMP's backward as Melo makes contact and suddenly game over.
We can debate the veracity of the call itself. That's fine. What bothers me is the fact that the call was made AT ALL. As I stated initially I have never seen this done on a game winning shot. If a fellow stiff out there can remember please let me know. Melo was clearly steamed beyond belief after the game, and according to Scott Hastings...Gregg Popovich looked over at George Karl and shrugged an apology.
It may not be officially a "win" but I count it as one. The Nuggets played hard and I'm proud of their effort despite the call. Yes, they missed some free throws which I will argue really cost them the game. Yet, you can't have a professional basketball game come down to a call like that. It makes no sense.
For a great, live, description of what happened please read Andrew's fanpost. Here
Nuggets need to use this as motivation. I will be curious to see what they do.