In Melo's absence, who sat because of slight inflammation of the knee, Ty Lawson stepped up for one of the best nights of his young career. Lawson played 34 minutes and scored a team-high 24 points while dishing out 7 assists.
The Nuggets started out flat and trailed by 19 midway through the first quarter, but closed the gap and were down a mere one point with three minutes left in the first half., a long two by Ray Allen squashed the Nuggets run and the teams went into the locker room with the Celtics up seven.
The Nuggets were outscored by four in the third quarter and five in the fourth, and ended the game with a 16 point loss.
J.R. Smith and Arron Afflalo each contributed 16 to the Nuggets cause, while Al Harrington led the team with eight rebounds. Chauncey Billups was held to five points on 2-10 shooting from the field.
The Big Three did not disappoint for the Celtics scoring 62 of the team's points. Allen led all scorers with 28 points, while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett scored 17 a piece. Garnett also led the team in rebounding with 9 while Rajon Rondo had 14 assists in the win. Shaquille O'Neal also contributed nine points.
Coach George Karl will go for his 1000th win on Friday against the Toronto Raptors in the same building he secured his 900th coaching victory. Tip for that game is 5:00 p.m. MT.