Nuggets hold off Thunder in Game 4 to avoid sweep

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: April 26, 2011 at 12:40 am •  Published: April 26, 2011
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e Thunder came in with an understanding of how intense this game would be. Thunder players and coaches knew the Nuggets would play with passion Monday to avoid a series sweep. They knew the crowd would be animated and loud.

The atmosphere clearly helped the Nuggets play inspired ball, and they admitted as much afterward.

“There was a lot of emotion involved,” Lawson said. “This was the biggest game of my life.”

The Thunder just didn’t have enough in the tank to eek out a win.

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 31 points on 8-for-18 shooting, and Serge Ibaka was the only other player in double figure scoring. His 13 points and 14 rebounds marked his third straight double-double.

“You got to give credit to Denver,” Durant said. “They played a great game. We’re looking forward to Game 5.”

Denver benefited from its best balanced attack of the series. Despite just 38.6 percent shooting, the Nuggets exploited Oklahoma City’s defense unlike any other game in this series. Six Nuggets scored in double digits, led by Ty Lawson’s 27 points. The Nuggets had more success than ever from beyond the arc, making 9-for-19 from deep while turning it over a series-low eight times.

“We didn’t get a monkey off our back,” said Lawson. “We got a 20-ton gorilla off our back.”

And by losing, the Thunder gave Denver exactly what it did not want to.

Hope.

“See you soon,” Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari promised his fans as he wrapped up his on-court interview that blared over the P.A. system after the game.

Box Score: Thunder loses to Nuggets in Game 4 Postgame Thoughts: What did you think?


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