Monday, January 23, 2012

Nuggets Win in Double-Overtime Thriller

Italian forward, Danilo Gallinari, helped the Denver Nuggets snatch an impressive fourth victory on the road, on Saturday evening, claiming a personal-best 37 points to lift the Nuggets above the New York Knicks, 119-114.

Nuggets-Knicks is always an interesting match-up, on account of the two sides' on-court brawl in 2006. Fortunately, the main point of interest at Madison Square Garden, at the weekend, was the stunning display from Gallinari, who was playing against his former team, the Knicks, for the first time since February 2011.

The Nuggets' team was made up of several former Knicks players, including Al Harrington and Timofey Mazgov. Harrington netted 24 points for Denver, while Mozgov, a player who arrived from New York as part of the trade for Carmelo Anthony, alongside Gallinari, collected a career-high 16.

Anthony could not equal Gallinari's prowess on the ball, missing two-thirds of his attempts on the basket, to end on 25 points and 10 rebounds. The Brooklyn-born player was instrumental, albeit accidentally, in giving the Nuggets a layup at the death, when he tossed a pass wide, and into the hands of Gallinari. Anyone following the bookmakers NBA odds will have been astonished.

He did, however, push the game into overtime with just under two seconds remaining on the clock, to spare the Knicks a regulation defeat.

The popular Anthony has struggled with a wrist problem, in recent weeks, a condition that likely contributed to his awkward display, on Saturday. The forward, having missed a number of shots early in the game, was booed by fans. However, he managed to pull himself together in the later stages of the game.

Gallinari found the Knicks' fans rather more welcoming. Despite being an opposition player, the Italian was applauded by New Yorkers: “It was great. I want to thank all the New York fans for the ovation they gave me”. Gallinari added that Madison Square Garden is “always special. You always find extra motivation [to play].”

The Knicks have now lost six games in a row, a tally that makes the Atlantic division of the Eastern Conference look somewhat suspect; New York are in second place, despite having significantly more losses than victories. The Knicks' win-loss ratio of 6-10 makes the 11-5 of the 76ers, in first place, seem phenomenal, in comparison.

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