How the Nuggets Got Lucky in Portland

October 30 2009, 9:40 AM
Despite trailing for a majority of the game, despite playing back-to-back nights, and despite coming into Portland, Oregon, at 4 a.m. yesterday, the Denver Nuggets found a way to win last night, finishing 97-94 against the Trail Blazers. Carmelo Anthony was spectacular, putting up a game-high 41 points and dominating the fourth quarter. The Denver Post notes that Anthony was the only Nugget with more than two buckets in the first half. Without the instant offense of guard J.R. Smith, who's serving a seven-game suspension for going to jail over the summer, Anthony was Denver's main offensive option--and really the only one. The Denver Stiffs point out that the Nuggets' bench scored just 13 points and the team's bigs---Nene and Kenyon Martin---combined for just 13 points. There wasn't much the Traiblazers could do about Anthony, Trail Blazers fan blog Rip City Project writes: He "went turbo nuclear." Still, as the blog also points out, the Portland's Brandon Roy also went off, scoring 30 points, proving he's a budding star in this league. Even though it was the second game of the season, last night's match-up had a playoff feel to it, and the Nuggets were able to step up to the challenge. They remain undefeated---but 80 games are left.