Nuggets 102, Pacers 95: Pacers Need to Melo Out
Did I say these teams were mirror images of each other? The Nuggets and Pacers both showed flashes of brilliance and disappointment much like they have throughout the year. The teams took turns going on scoring runs, but the Nuggs made their last run hold to leave town with a 102-95 win. The Pacers lost their cool and drew five technical fouls due to the nine foul and 30 free throw (30!) differential. Rick Carlisle and Darrell Armstrong were both tossed after snapping and picking up double-techs. Jeff Foster had the other technical for complaining about a foul.
- The way the game played out, the Pacers would've been in much better shape had they kept their cool. The Nuggs appeared poised to run the Pacers out of the gym two or three times and during those runs the T's made it worse. But these are the Nuggets and they kept allowing the Pacers back in the game. A little poise may have made the difference in the end.
- Carmelo Anthony made 12-13 free throws and finished the game with 34 points to carry the Nuggs.
- Making the loss more shameful for the Pacers is the fact that Allen Iverson and Marcus Camby did not play for Denver. Another golden opportunity the Pacers failed to seize when given the chance.
- What looked like a favorable home schedule that could catapult the Pacers to the upper echelon of the East has become a nightmare. Three straight home losses with the LA Clippers coming to town is frustrating to take. Despite the Clippers recent road woes, they remain a dangerous team.
- Darrell Armstrong went overboard when he was tossed. He had to be physically restrained and then as he stormed off the court he showed his field goal kicking form by booting one of the chairs near the Pacers' bench. It doesn't appear he hurt his foot but he could've which would've further killed the Pacers. Seemed quite out of character for DA this year since he's rarely seen without a smile and has given the team a level-headed veteran presencce.
- Mike Dunleavy was a bright spot for the Pacers. He scored 23 points with 11 rebounds and more importantly the points came from a solid shooting night. Mike D. made 9-15 field goal attempts including 3-7 from 3 land.
- Jamaal Tinsley carried over his poor shooting from Wednesday night ending the game tonight making 3-16 FGAs.
(Photo: AP Photo/Michael Conroy)