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News » Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2008-04-29

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2008-04-29

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2008-04-29
At least the Nuggets went down fighting.

After forward Carmelo Anthony said they had "quit" in a 102-84 Game 3 loss to the Lakers, they battled gallantly before falling 107-101 in Monday's Game 4. The Lakers swept the first-round series, 4-0.

Yes, the Nuggets were blanked. But coach George Karl said all along they had a good season.

"I know you guys don't want to hear this, but I have a feeling in July, I'm going to think this is one of the best years in coaching I've ever had," Karl said.

Karl disagreed with regular criticism of his team by the media. It reached its height after Anthony's comments that the Nuggets had "quit."

"My team isn't that far from playing the hardest, and they're being maligned as a bunch of non-committed athletes," Karl said. "That's a bunch of (bleep)."

Karl said he was "disappointed" at the way the playoffs went, but he was pleased with the team's regular season. The Nuggets went 50-32, their best record in 20 years.

LAKERS 107, NUGGETS 101: In 32 seasons, the Nuggets never had been on the wrong end of a playoff sweep. Neither had George Karl in 20 seasons as an NBA coach.

But it happened Monday at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets and Karl were swept in a seven-game series.

At least the Lakers didn't make like a street sweeper in Game 4, which had been the case in the first three games. The last game was close with the Nuggets fighting back gallantly from a 13-point deficit, including a 10-point hole at halftime.

Guard Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points. Center Pau Gasol added 21.

Gritty reserve J.R. Smith, who was banished to the bench in last year's playoffs only to bounce back in this postseason, led the Nuggets with 26 points. Guard Allen Iverson scored 22 and forward Carmelo Anthony had 21. Center Marcus Camby had 17 rebounds.

But it wasn't enough. With the Nuggets leading 96-95, Bryant drilled a 20-foot jumper and Luke Walton hit a 3-pointer to put the Lakers up 100-96 with 2:37 left.

"It was evident throughout this whole series we have a lot of work to do," Iverson said. "We got beat by a better team. This was a message sent to us that we got to get better. We're not there yet."

The Lakers advance to play the winner of the Utah-Houston series. The Jazz leads 3-1.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 29, 2008


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