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Nuggets at 76ers recap: Billups present, Melo MIA in loss

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Carmelo Anthony plays one of his worst games in recent memory. The Nuggets' star goes just 3-12 from the field, scores just 12 points and chalks up 6 turnovers and a team-high -21 in the +/- department. The Nuggets lose 110-99 to the 76ers Sunday night and snap their four-game win streak.

Along with Melo going Missing In Action, the Nuggets failed to share the ball as they racked up just 16 team assists while turning the ball over 17 times. The 17 turnovers led to 14 points by the Sixers and once again Thaddeus Young proves to be more than Denver can handle.

The Nuggets started things off in great shape as they were 7-7 from three-point land and jumped out to an early 34-25 lead with 2:45 left in the first quarter. Chauncey Billups was red-hot from the field going 5-5 to start things off and finishing the quarter 5-6 from the field (3-4 from downtown), 3-3 from the charity stripe for 16 points to go along with 4 assists.

But like the rest of the quarter and eventually the rest of the game, the Sixers dominated things and the Nuggets looked disinterested for long stretches.

Let's take a look at the end of the quarters ...

  1. With 2:45 left in the first quarter and the Nuggets up 34-25, the Sixers closed things out on a 7-0 run and found themselves down just 34-32.
  2. With 2:27 left in the second quarter and the game tied 47-47 the Sixers closed things out on a 7-4 run and led at the half 54-51.
  3. With 2:31 left in the third quarter and the Sixers up 80-68 the Nuggets closed things out on a 4-2 run and found themselves down 82-72 heading into the final 12 minutes.
  4. The Nuggets had a mini-rally and found themselves down 89-82 with 8:52 to play. George Karl put Melo back into the game and he had two costly turnovers that led to 4 points on the fastbreak by the Sixers and by the 4:54 mark of the fourth the Sixers were up 101-86 (12-4 run) and put the game out of reach.

The Nuggets lacked energy tonight and just didn't seem up to the challenge defensively to stop the Sixers. The four-guard lineups didn't help the Nuggets as Nene or Birdman were the only big men on the floor for long stretches of the game. The Nuggets did somehow manage to out-rebound the Sixers 38-35, but 55.1% shooting on the night from Philly didn't lend itself to needing a lot of offensive boards.

Once again short memories are in order as Denver is in action again tomorrow night in New Jersey.

 

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  • At the half Melo was 2-7 from the field and scored 8 points. In the second half Melo was just 1-6 from the field and scored just 4 points. Usually when Melo isn't scoring like he should be he'll get himself to the foul line, maybe rebound a bit more or look for his teammates. Tonight he was just 4-4 from the foul line, had 3 rebounds (0 offensive) and just 1 assist. Melo could be seen jogging up-and-down the floor, taking a rushed and ill-advised three-pointer and throwing the ball right to the Sixers (6 turnovers in all). An awful game from Denver's star. Oh and he got a technical for tossing his headband towards the hoop as the first half ended.
  • In the first half the Nuggets' starters were a combined +27 in the +/- department, and the second unit guys were -29 combined.
  • The Nuggets had 9 assists in the first half and just 7 assists in the second half (and most of those after the game had been decided). 16 assists on the road is not the Nuggets' receipe for success.
  • Billups finished the night with 27 points on 8-12 shooting (4-7 from deep), 7-7 from the charity stripe and a team-high 5 assists.
  • Arron Afflalo was just 3-9 on the night (2-3 from deep) for 9 points and 4 assists in 36 minutes.
  • Thaddeus Young reached his season average of 11.7 points per game with 1:56 remaining in the first half. Young scored 21 points on the night on 10-12 shooting and went to the foul line only once. Once again the Nuggets didn't make Young earn any points at the foul line. He's listed at 6'8'' tall, but seemed to have at least an inch on 6'8'' Melo. Young scored 41 points against the Nuggets this season ... a total game changer.
  • The Sixers swept the season series against the Nuggets for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
  • Since defeating the Nuggets on Dec. 26th the Sixers are now 9-8 and 21-26 overall ... good for 7th place out East.

 

 

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