The Denver Nuggets Saturday evening got 32 points from Chauncey Billups and 31 from Carmelo Anthony, beating the Mavericks in Dallas to take a 3-0 lead in their second round NBA playoffs series.
The final and biggest shot of the night came with one second left from Nuggets star small forward Carmelo Anthony, who nailed a big three-pointer from the left side of the court.
There was controversy, as just before Melo took that shot, Mavericks swingman Antoine Wright bumped Anthony, intentionally trying to foul him. The bump wasn’t very hard, though, and no call was made. Melo didn’t stop and nailed the shot anyway.
Wright’s bump on Melo was close. It was a “touch-bump,” if you will. It probably should have been called, but it was not a clear “must-call.” It wasn’t a particularly hard bump and it didn’t really affect Melo. Wright probably should have just grabbed him or something.
As for the game, it was close most of the way through. The Nuggets led 48-45 at halftime. The Mavericks led 80-79 after three-quarters.
In the win, Billups (9-of-16) had 32, but just 3 assists. Anthony (just 9-of-24, but 11-of-14 free throws) had 31, plus 8 rebounds and a pair of steals. Kenyon Martin (5-of-6) had 12, but just 4 rebounds. J.R. Smith (just 3-of-10) had 10 with 6 rebounds off the bench.
In the loss, Dirk Nowitzki (9-of-19, 13-of-15 free throws) scored 33, with 16 rebounds and 2 blocks. Jason Terry (5-of-12) had 17 with 4 rebounds off the bench. Brandon Bass (2-of-5) fought hard and earned 14 free throw attempts for 16 points and 5 rebounds. Josh Howard (just 5-of-15) had 14 points, 7 rebounds and more turnovers than assists. Jason Kidd scored 13 with 5 rebounds, 5 assists.
Both teams shot badly (though the Nuggets were slightly better from three-point range), and spent much of the night on the free throw line, with Dallas connecting on 40-of-49, and Denver hitting 32-of-40.
Denver controlled the ball, committing only 7 turnovers. The Mavericks had just one steal (Josh Howard).
The Mavericks boiled over with frustation after the loss, with several players yelling at anyone nearby who would listen. Passionate team owner Mark Cuban stormed down the sideline of the court and shoved aside the off-arm of a cameraman who was nearly in his way. I didn’t see if any Mavs players did anything crazy after the game, aside from letting off a lot of steam.
Fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.