Round 1, Game 5 Recap: Nuggets vs Thunder

Posted by By at 28 April, at 13 : 14 PM Print

Only once in the past 8 seasons have the Denver Nuggets d out of the 1st round of the Playoffs.  This year, like the 7 other seasons they will not be advancing.

For the first time since the franchise move to Oklahoma City, The Sonics, er…Thunder have advanced past the 1st round of the Playoffs thanks to late game heroics by their leader Kevin Durant and his career playoff high 41 points.

With a frozen cold Russell Westbrook who was shooting bricks all night, The Thunder kept it close most of the game, until a late game surge by the Nuggets that pulled them as much as 9 points ahead of OKC late in the game.  Thanks to 9 straight points scored by Durant and a block party by Serge Ibaka, The Thunder overcame all odds and defeated Denver to win their best of 7 series 4 games to 1.

With all other Western Conference matchups still going strong, the Thunder will have time to rest as they await their next opponent.  Without a go-to star with the departure of Carmelo Anthony, The Nuggets were sitting ducks.  They have depth, but without a Star to fill the net they really had no shot at winning the series.

With Westbrook shooting a chilling 3-15 with 14 points it was clear from the get-go that Durant would have to shoulder the load and carry OKC to victory.  With no other Thunder player scoring more than 14 points, Durant’s 14-27 shooting and 12 trips to the free throw line gave The Thunder the edge they needed.  Denver, on the other hand had even scoring throughout with 5 players scoring in double-digits, none over 20 however.  This ultimately, was their downfall as a dying effort 3 by Arron Afflalo missed and the Nuggets were sent home. 

This young upstart Thunder Team battled The Lakers last season hard in an epic 6 game series in the 1st round.  Apparently they learnt their lessons as they have advanced to the 2nd round…with ease.

Look out Western Conference.  As the upper echelon teams (Lakers, Spurs, Mavs) all battle their way through their series, OKC will have time to sit home, rest and wait for the next opponent to battle with.

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