SI.com: Who needs Carmelo? Not the Nuggets last night
November 29th, 2010
12:33 PM ET

SI.com: Who needs Carmelo? Not the Nuggets last night

Didn't think the Nuggets had the goods to deliver without Carmelo Anthony? Guess again, because if Sunday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns was any indication, Denver is certainly a team to contend with, even when Melo-less. Their standout point guard was sidelined less than three minutes into the game after experiencing flu-like symptoms, forcing the rest of the Nuggets offense to step up.

And step up they did.

J.R. Smith recorded a season-high 30 points while the team went on to win the league’s highest scoring game this season so far with a 138-133 rout of the Suns. The Nuggets also got some help from recently-returned Chauncey Billups who put up 25 points and eight assists for his team in his first game back on the court since spraining his right wrist. Though the Suns charged back, narrowing the score 128-125 in the fourth, Steve Nash’s missed three-pointer with 17.8 seconds left ended Phoenix come-from-behind hopes. But despite winning without Anthony, the Nuggets were far from pleased with their fourth quarter performance and how close they came to throwing away their lead.

"I thought we'd do a little better in the fourth quarter," Billups said after the game. "Giving up 44 points is really unacceptable, no matter who you're playing."

Though the win certainly shows that the Nuggets can hold their own even without Melo, SI.com’s Brett Robson acknowledges that the team still has a ways to go before it can climb to the top of the standings.

But NBA balling aside, tonight has plenty of action for NFL and NHL fans:

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers (7 p.m., ET) – For the second time in two weeks, the Penguins and Rangers will square off. The Rangers have won four of their last five games, including a victory against the Penguins in overtime on Nov. 15.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals (8:30 p.m., ET) – Two of the league’s most down and out teams will meet each other in tonight’s Monday night football matchup. Both teams go into the game with 3-7 records for the season.

By The Numbers

4 – Number of interceptions thrown by Colts QB Peyton Manning in the team’s loss against the Chargers. The win marked the Chargers’ fifth victory in six contests against the Colts.

200 – Number of career goals scored by 23-year-old Sidney Crosby after Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames.

$23 million – Annual four-to-five year salary that Yankees captain Derek Jeter is reportedly looking for to stay in pinstripes. Right now, the Yankees are offering Jeter a $45 million, three-year contract, but the team is expected to up that price tag, writes SI.com’s Jon Heyman.

Post by:
Filed under: Sports
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    ............The Red Shuttle........

    November 29, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. purtbrwowniz

    I love mello! but hey.. im glad they can do it without him but i like them with him... i want him to put a ring on it.

    November 30, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    Carmelo is not a point guard.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |