When the Denver Nuggets return home to the Pepsi Center for Game 3 on Saturday, they will be down 0-2 in their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nuggets struggled for most of the night, losing by 17 points, 106-89.
The Thunder started off hot with help from their support players in James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins. Harden had 14 points at halftime (16 total), and Ibaka and Perkins combined for 15 rebounds (23 total). Ibaka finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. While not the 72 points they scored in Game 1, Kevin Durant (23 points) and Russell Westbrook (21) combined for 44 this time around.
The Nuggets came out flat during the first quarter of the game, not making a field goal in the first four minutes of play. They shot in the 20 percent range at one point and were down by as many as 26 points in the second quarter. During the second half, the Thunder lead was cut to 10, but that was quickly distanced again. They shot 39.1 percent from the field.
Ty Lawson had a team-high 20 points, making 7 of 13 shots and sinking five free throws. Nene fell a rebound short of a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Raymond Felton (16) and Al Harrington (15) combined for 31 points off the bench. Wilson Chandler missed all six field goals he attempted. Arron Afflalo, still out with injury, was sorely missed in this game.
According to TNT, teams that go down 0-2 in a seven-game series have come back to win it just 14 times in 233 series. That does not bode well for the Nuggets. Game 3 of this series tips at 8:00 p.m. MT on Saturday, April 23 inside the Pepsi Center.