The series between the Thunder and Nuggets seems to be one of the most interesting series in the West with the way both teams came into the playoffs. Both teams came in riding a nice win streak, and in the end there is nothing like a four/five match-up.
The Denver Nuggets (50-32) visited the Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) to cap off the last game of Western Conference and NBA game ones. The Thunder won the season series 4-1 beating them twice this April before the season ended, and made it a third straight time tonight with this 107-103 victory.
The Nuggets started the game with Nene making a layup and back-to-back three-pointers from Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler on their way to a 16-6 lead. It forced OKC to call a timeout, but the Nuggets kept their foot on the gas as they pushed their lead to a 13 points off another Danilo Gallinari three-pointer.
The Thunder tried to cut into the Nuggets lead with a 6-2 spurt, but the Nuggets called a quick timeout to keep the Thunder at bay. The Nuggets had a 13 point lead before the Thunder ended the cut it down with Kevin Durant making four free-throws to end the quarter down 33-24.
Both teams started out trading baskets, but the Nuggets kept their ten point lead. The Thunder cut the Nuggets lead to 47-43 when Russell Westbrook made a three-pointer. The Thunder did not stay close long as the Nuggets went on a 6-2 spurt to push their lead up to eight.
With 3:25 left OKC called a timeout, and went on an 11-4 run to close out the second quarter to make the score 60-59 going into halftime.
Oklahoma City tied the game up at 62 points apiece on a Russell Westbrook three-pointer. Denver took an early timeout, but the Thunder kept their lead with a Serge Ibaka jumper that made it 68-66 with 8:56 left in the period. The Nuggets battled back to tie the game up at 70 points apiece.
The Nuggets went on a 6-3 spurt to get the lead back 76-74 with a Kenyon Martin jumper. Kevin Durant later made a layup to tie the game up at 76 points apiece. A Wilson Chandler Basket made gave the Nuggets a one point lead before OKC took a timeout. The Thunder bounced back with back-to-back three-pointers from Kevin Durant and Eric Maynor to give the Thunder a 86-82 lead.
Raymond Felton tied the game up at 86 points apiece early only to have Kevin Durant answer with a basket of his own to make it 88-86. The Thunder scored the next four points to take a 92-86 lead. The score was 90-96 in OKC’s favor and Denver took a timeout. Denver took a one point lead with a 9-0 run with six of their points coming from Nene.
Kevin Durant made it 100-99 with a jumper but a Danilo Gallinari jumper made it a 101-100 with 3:05 left in the game. Both teams went cold over the next three minutes until Kendrick Perkins tipped in a controversial basket that gave the Thunder a 102-101 lead. Russell Westbrook then came down and made a jumper that put the Thunder up by three with .22 seconds left.
The Nuggets foul Kevin Durant with .7 seconds left and he made both of his free-throws to give OKC a five point lead. Danilo Gallinari was fouled and made both of his free-throws to get the Nuggets within three. The Thunder sealed the game with a Russell Westbrook free-throw that put the Thunder up by for and seal the 107-103 victory.
Nene was 9-11 and dunked all over the Thunder team to lead the Nuggets with 22 points and eight rebounds. Nene had a bit of a scare as he bumped knees with Kendrick Perkins that forced him to leave the game for a bit.
Nene had a monster game dunking all over any defender that got in his way.
Danilo Gallinari added 18 points and Kenyon Martin chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds. Ty Lawson had 10 points with Wilson Chandler making some big shots to add up to nine points with his eight rebounds.
They got help off the bench with Raymond Felton scoring 12 points, J.R. Smith scoring nine and Chris Andersen adding eight.
OKC was led by their dynamic duo that combined for 72 points. Kevin Durant scored 41 points with nine rebounds, and Russell Westbrook scored 31 points with seven assists and six rebounds. Both scored career highs and we seen last night why Kevin Durant was his second scoring title in a row.
The only other player to score in double digits was Eric Maynor with 12 points off the bench. No one else on their team scored over five points.
The Nuggets dominate the paint outscoring the Thunder 46-28.
The Thunder will welcome back the Nuggets on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 8:00 PM (EST) for game two of this seven game series.