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article imageNBA: Denver Nuggets roll in Post-Melo era over Grizzlies

By Kristofor Molson     Feb 23, 2011 in Sports
Denver - The Nuggets took the floor with just eight players and no Carmelo Anthony or Chauncey Billups. The team has not got their acquisitions either from the trade, but the Nuggets still pulled out a 120-107 victory.
The break is over and the Denver Nuggets (33-25) hosted the Memphis Grizzlies (31-27) at the Pepsi Center. Coach George Karl said, How we rebuild our team and construct it, there are going to be some tough moments. But I think it will be fun to see how fast this team will come together, how it will grow up and how fast it can prove itself to be a playoff-caliber team. My hope and desire is to continue to be a playoff team.
The team looked like it can still be a playoff-caliber team jumping out to a 20-13 lead forcing the Grizzlies to call a timeout at the 4:45 mark. The Nuggets kept the lead pushing it to a 25-17 lead before calling a timeout at the 3:12 mark, and finished the quarter with a 32-23 lead.
The Nuggets pushed their lead to ten with a 39-29 score. Anderson of the Nuggets scored seven points to open the second quarter. The Nuggets pushed their lead to 20 with a 15-5 run. The Nuggets kept the lead the rest of the quarter getting the lead up to 21 with .38 seconds left in the half, but Tony Allen hit two free-throws to knock it down to 19 going into halftime down 61-42.
The Nuggets got a big game from J.R. Smith who usually comes off the bench, but in the wake of the trade was put in the starting line-up. Smith scored 26 points and had eight rebounds and five assists for the game.
Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson scored 21 points apiece. Lawson had a big game with seven assists, five rebounds and six big steals. They got 15 points from Nene and Chris Anderson respectively who came off the bench with Gary Forbes who scored 10 points.
Tony Allen scored 26 points with eight rebounds and two steals in the absence of Rudy Gay who is out with an injury. They also got a big game from O.J. Mayo who scored 21 points off the bench. Zach Randolph scored 12 points with eight rebounds while four other players scored just ten points.
Mike Conley (10 points) knocked the lead down to 16 with a 3-pointer as the Grizzlies tried to battle back in this quarter. The Nuggets put the foot on the gas with a 16-11 spurt, pushing their lead to 23 with 5:00 left in the period 83-60. Lawson and Afflalo lead the charge for the Nuggets this quarter and did not let up.
Smith took over at the end of the quarter 11 points in the last three minutes of period pushing their lead to 26 to end the period. Mayo had hit a jumper for the Grizzlies making it 74-99, but Smith came down and hit a 33 footer to make it 102-76 heading into the fourth.
The Grizzlies tried their best to make a comeback in the fourth quarter beating the Nuggets 31-18, but the Nuggets put the game out of reach. The Grizzlies opened with a 14-2 run to make the score 88-106, but the Nuggets still had a double digit lead. Mayo and Allen were the reason for the run, but they did not get much help the rest of the period.
This is win number one in the “Post-Melo Era” and they won the season series 2-1. Denver is sitting in the seventh spot tied with New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers.
Memphis is sitting just outside the playoffs a game and a half behind the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final spot.
The Nuggets are expecting the players from the trade to come in Wednesday for physicals and hopefully will be able to play shortly thereafter.
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