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article imageNBA: Denver pulls first win of series 104-101 to go down 3-1

By Austin Tyler     Apr 27, 2011 in Sports
Denver - The Thunder had sweep on their mind, but the Nuggets played a great team game to pull the win off. Denver wanted to win one for their fans, and gave them a big one with their 104-101 victory over the Thunder.
The Denver Nuggets (50-32) hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) for the possible last game of the season in the Pepsi Center. The Thunder won the last game with Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook having big games. The Nuggets won this game with a great team effort and some big late shots.
The game started off close till the Nuggets took a five-point lead with a 6-0 spurt to take a 10-5 lead. The Nuggets held their lead as Kenyon Martin made a jumper and Nene made a layup to give the Nuggets a 15-9 lead. Thabo Sefolosha made a three-pointer to get the Thunder within three.
Kevin Durant got the Thunder within one when he made a pair of free-throws to make it 15-14, but Raymond Felton made a three-pointer to push their lead back to four. Kevin Durant made a three-pointer of his own to get the Thunder within one 20-19. J.R. Smith made a jumper with .37 seconds left to give the Nuggets a 26-20 lead to end the quarter.
James Harden got the Thunder within three when he made a three-pointer to open the second quarter. J.R. Smith made a jumper and Al Harington made a pair of free-throws to give the Nuggets a 30-24 lead. Eric Maynor made a jumper and Russell Westbrook made a jumper to give the Thunder a 32-31 lead.
Ty Lawson gave the Nuggets a two point lead with a three-pointer, but a Nick Collison jumper made a jumper to tie the game up at 34 points apiece. The Thunder had a 41-38 lead and Ty Lawson made a layup to get the Nuggets within one. Denver had a 45-42 lead, but the Nuggets scored the next three-points to go into halftime tied at 45 points.
OKC had a 51-47 lead to start the third quarter, and Danilo Gallinari made a three-pointer to get the Nuggets within one. The Thunder and Nuggets tied things up at 55 points apiece with a Gallinari free-throw. Kevin Durant made a three-pointer to give the Thunder a 58-55 lead.
Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets
Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets
Danilo Gallinari made a three-pointer with 3:30 left in the period to give the Nuggets a 65-64 lead. The Thunder bounced back to take a 69-67 lead off a Nick Collison three-point play. J.R. Smith made a three-pointer with .35 seconds left to take a 71-69 lead into final period.
The Nuggets went on a 7-0 run to take a 78-69 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets took a nine-point lead with a J.R. Smith three-pointer with 7:11 left in the game. The Thunder got seven straight points from Kevin Durant to get within two. The Nuggets pushed their lead back to nine with a 7-0 spurt capped off with a Danilo Gallinari three-pointer.
Kevin Durant capped off a 9-1 run with a three-pointer that got them back within two with just over a minute left, 98-96. The Thunder had a chance to tie the game up after Raymond Felton missed a jumper. Russell Westbrook rushed down the court with .29 seconds left and shot a airball to give the Nuggets the ball back.
Raymond Felton made a pair of free-throws to give the Nuggets a four point lead. Russell Westbrook had .16 seconds left and he drove down the court to make a layup and make the score 100-98. The Nuggets made three free-throws in a row to take a 103-98 lead. Kevin Durant made a three pointer with .4 seconds left to get the Thunder within two points, 103-101.
Raymond Felton made 1 of 2 free-throws to make the score 104-101 with .3 seconds left. Russell Westbrook shot a 35-footer with the time running out, but he missed it and then complained to the refs for a foul.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points and five rebounds. Russell Westbrook scored 30 points on 12-30 shooting. Westbrook also had six rebounds and five assists. Serge Ibaka scored 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds with five blocks.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 27 points, and Danilo Gallinari scored 18 points with six rebounds and four assists. Kenyon Martin scored 13 points with nine rebounds, and Nene had 10 points with nine rebounds.
J.R. Smith scored 15 points off the bench, and Raymond Felton chipped in with 11 points.
Denver avoided the sweep with this win and will go back to Oklahoma City for game five. They will play Wednesday, April 25, 2011 at 9:30 PM (EST).
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