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Thunder notebook: Nuggets run hot, then cold

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: April 21, 2011 at 12:25 am •  Published: April 21, 2011

On Sunday night, Denver hit its first seven shots from the field and jumped out to a 13-point lead.

On Wednesday night, the Nuggets missed their first six shots and 15 of their first 18 as the Thunder jumped in front 29-10.

Denver's first field goal came on a goaltending call against Serge Ibaka on a clean block against Ty Lawson.

So far in the series, officiating crews have struggled making the proper goaltending call.

DEFENDING DURANT

After scoring 41 points and shooting 13 for 22 from the floor in Game 1, Kevin Durant opened Game 2 shooting 1 for 5. Denver defenders, particularly Danilo Gallinari, appeared to be more physical guarding Durant.

“He's seen every defense,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Durant. “It's not like Denver is going to come up with a scheme we haven't seen before, unless it's, um, I don't even know. George (Karl) is pretty clever. I don't know if he has something we haven't seen before. Kevin has seen all the doubles — from the smalls, from the bigs, from the baseline, from the top. You just have to make plays. There's a reason why they're double-teaming, because you're good. They're a reason why we can score off a double-team, because they're leaving a guy open.”

AMAZING MELO

New York forward Carmelo Anthony almost single-handedly won Tuesday night's game against Boston with 42 points, 17 rebounds and six assists.

Had Anthony not been traded to the Knicks on Feb. 22 and the Nuggets still finished as the No. 5 seed, he would be facing the Thunder right now.

Brooks knows Anthony well, having served as a Denver assistant for Anthony's first three seasons in the league.

“That was a terrific performance,” Brooks said of Anthony's effort on Tuesday. “That's what he does. He's a big-game player. He makes big plays. He can score in a lot of different areas. He's a good a scorer as Kevin Durant is, and there's not a lot of guys in the world you can say that about.”

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