May 10, 2009
As Jason Terry swished a late-game three from the right corner, the score ballooned from 102-101 to a two-possession lead in a matter of seconds with only 31 ticks to go.
Terry then began emphatic celebrations and yelled out "Let's Go" hyping himself and the sellout crowd of 20,620 as Dallas cemented the game.
Presumably I might add before one of the game's greatest players simply took over.
First, Anthony aggressively drove to the basket and closed the gap to only two (105-103). Denver played sound defense and got a stop. With 6.5 remaining the ball was inbounded to Melo.
From there the unexpected as well as the expected happened. The Mavs' had a foul to give and Antoine Wright was ordered to execute that strategy. Wright did make contact with the former Collegiate Champion causing him to fumble the ball near the out of bounds line.
But then he recovered rose up and Carmelo calmly drained the game-winning 3 with one second left and catapulted the Denver Nuggets' to a 3-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semis'.
Nevermind the fact he seemingly may have re-injured his elbow during a scruffle in the 3rd Quarter or the fact he was playing with 5 fouls since early in the 4th. All those factors went out the window as Melo elevated and released. He went up with hope, passion, and belief and landed as a winner, littered with support and adulation from his teammates.
Sure Chauncey Billups' had the better second half (statistically) but it was Anthony's 18 points in the first-half which gave Denver a three-point lead at half-time, that provided the Mountain Men with any shot at a win.
What else did he do? He accounted for 7 of Denver's final 9 points either by assisting or scoring and held Josh Howard without a field goal the last 4:35. Anthony also contributed to the Nuggets' win without even knowing it.
Anthony fouled Howard with 1:28 left with the score at 101-99 Dallas. Howard in turn only made 1-of-2 and left a window for the Nuggets' which Carmelo later opened.
Carmelo finished with 31 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and got to the free-throw line making 11 of 14 shots. The Nuggets' were 18-3 on the year when he attempts 9 free throws more with three wins over the Mavericks, including Game 2 and now Game Three.
Perhaps this is just what you expect from a player selected No. 3 overall in 2003. I'd say your right and the Nuggets' are getting their money's worth.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!