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2011 NBA Playoffs, Nuggets Vs. Thunder: Oklahoma City Ends Denver's Season In Game 5

The Denver Nuggets gave it everything they had, but in the end, they just came up short against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They lost 100-97 in Game 5 on Wednesday, bringing their season an end. But they put up just as much of a fight in this series as we have come to expect of them with their inspired play in the second half of the season. Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post has some reaction from Nuggets coach George Karl.

"We didn't close out this game and we didn't close out Game 1, and they're both difficult to swallow right now," Karl said. "We will, somewhere in the next week or so, wake up and realize we had a heck of a season. I'm thankful to be healthy and back coaching. It's just going to be a tough loss to get out of your system."

I don't think anybody could have expected the Nuggets to play as well as they did over the second half of the season after they traded Carmelo Anthony. But they re-grouped and played over their heads, and helped make one of the better first round series.

Our Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs isn't bummed that their team had to lose in the first round to the Thunder, that's understandable. They just wish it didn't have to happen quite like that.

The inability to hold a 9 point lead with three minutes to go is going to haunt the Nuggets all off season. I'm not going to sugar coat that. It's on the entire team that they let that happen. The Nuggets had this game in the palm of their hands and let it slip away. Allowing James Harden a wide open spot up three to tie was perplexing. There are so many things to point at that it would take all night. One thing is for sure, the Nuggets inability to close out two of the games in this series is why they are going home as we speak.

But the Nuggets had a season that was, if nothing else, entertaining. They now face a long offseason of wondering what could have been had they been able to close out two of the games in this series. But their effort was commendable, and they have nothing to be ashamed of.