Fan Vote: Nuggets Top Moments
This week, Nuggets' fans will be able to vote for their favorite Denver Nuggets top moments throughout history on Twitter. Here are your top moments broken down:
Nuggets Beat the Sonics
On May 7, 1994, the Nuggets defeated the Seattle Supersonics 98-94 in Game 5 of the first round of the Western Conference finals. In clinching the series 3-2, Denver became the first No. 8 seed to upset a No. 1 in NBA playoff history. Sparked by courageous bench performances from Robert Pack (23 points) and Bison Dele (17 points and 19 rebounds), the pioneering win remains the Hallmark victory on the Nuggets’ resume. They shook up the world.
Nikola’s Perfect Triple-Double
You can’t get better than perfection. The Nuggets center put on one of the rarest performances in NBA history in Denver’s 2018-19 home opener, recording a 30-plus point, triple-double without missing a single shot from the field. Jokic scored 35 points, going 11 of 11 from the field while grabbing 11 rebounds and as many assists in a 119-91 win against the Phoenix Suns. The only other player to achieve a similar stat line? Wilt Chamberlain.
Highest Scoring Game in NBA History
On Dec. 13, 1984, the Nuggets played in the highest-scoring game in NBA history, combining with the Detroit Pistons to score 370 points. Unfortunately, the Nuggets came up a bucket short, falling 186-184 in the triple-overtime affair. Four players finished with over 40 points. Denver’s Kiki VanDeWeghe led all scorers with 51 points and teammate Alex English put up 47. Detroit’s Isaiah Thomas had 47 as well and fellow Pistons guard John Long scored 41. The craziest stat of them all, however, might be this—both teams only combined to make two 3-pointers.
Nuggets' 15-game Win Streak
Twenty-eight days. No losses. That’s the stretch of success the Nuggets enjoyed from Feb. 28-March 28 during the 2012-13 season, when they reeled off 15-straight victories. Beginning with a 119-113 win against the Charlotte Hornets, Denver logged wins against five playoff teams (Oklahoma City, Clippers, LA Lakers, Atlanta and New York) on their way to a 57-25 regular-season record and earning the No. 3 seed in Western Conference.
Nikola's 40 Point Game at Madison Square Garden
Nikola Jokic became just the second player in Nuggets history to score 40 points in Madison Square Garden, joining the great David Thompson, when he went for that many on Feb. 10, 2017. A career-high at the time, Jokic went 17 of 23 from the field, knocking down two of three 3-point attempts, and four of five free throws. He came up just a rebound shy of a double-double and adding five assists in 37 minutes to lift his team to a 131-123 victory.
Nuggets Draft Mutombo
Sometimes you just get it right. With the fourth overall selection in the 1991 NBA Draft, the Nuggets selected center Dikembe Mutombo out of Georgetown University. The 7-foot-2 African, made his presence felt immediately, averaging 16.6 points and ranked third in the NBA with 12.3 rebounds per game and fifth in blocks 3.0 blocks a contest on his way to being named a first-team selection to the 1991 all-rookie team. Mt. Mutombo, as he was nicknamed during his time in the Mile High City, is the Nuggets all-time leader in blocks with 1,486. The eight-time all-star and four-time Defensive Player of the Year was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Nuggets' First Game as a Member of the NBA
After playing in the ABA from 1969-76, the Denver Nuggets franchise joined the NBA for the 1976-77 NBA season and got things started with a bang. The Nuggets downed the Indiana Pacers, who also joined the NBA as a result of the merger, 123-110 on Oct. 22, 1976. Dan Issel (30 points, nine rebounds), David Thompson (19 points), Bobby Jones (17 points, five assists, six rebounds), Byron Beck (16 points) and Gus Gerard (10 points), led the way for the Nuggets against the Pacers. The Nuggets would go on to win their first eight games in the NBA as part of a 50-32 season, during which they went 50-32 and lost in the conference semifinals.
Defensive Player of the Year - Camby
Marcus Camby enjoyed what was arguably the finest season of his 17-year NBA career in a Nuggets uniform. The 6-11, 240-pounder averaged a double-double a night, putting up 11.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. he led the in NBA in total blocks (231) and blocks per game (3.3) and second in block percentage (7.0) and third in defensive rebounds (652) and was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year as the Nuggets went 45-37 in the regular season, qualifying for the Western Conference Playoffs.
Nuggets 1985 Western Conference Finals
Legendary coach Doug Moe guided the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals. The Nuggets averaged a league-best 120 points per game, aided by Alex English (27. 9 ppg), Calvin Natt (23.3 ppg) and went 52-30 in the regular season, capturing a Midwest Division title along the way. They won playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs (3-2) and Utah Jazz (4-1) before being ousted by Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers, who went on to win the NBA championship.
The Denver Nuggets had already wrapped up a playoff spot, heading into the 1977-78 regular-season finale. So, head coach Larry Brown gave star wing Dave Thompson clearance to be aggressive and try and clinch the scoring title, a battle he was engaged in with the San Antonio Spurs’ George Gervin, and, boy did he. Thompson scored a career-high 73 points on 28 of 38 shooting while going 17 of 20 from the free-throw line. The Nuggets fell short by two points in the game and Thompson narrowly finished second in the league in scoring in the narrowest race in NBA history after Gervin put up 63 points the same day. However, Thompson’s outing is still the fourth-highest single-game scoring total in NBA history.
Nuggets Beat Dallas to Advance to the 2009 Western Conference Finals
The Denver Nuggets returned the Western Conference Finals in 2009. Led by head coach George Karl, they posted a 54-28 regular-season record, taking the Northwest Division title. In the postseason, they knocked off the New Orleans Hornets 4-1 in the first round then eliminated the Mavericks by the same margin in the Western Conference semifinals.
1976 Dunk Contest
It’s often referred to as “the day the dunk was born.” Former Denver Nuggets Star David “Skywalker” Thompson squared off against Julius “Dr. J” Erving in one of the most memorable in the 1976 ABA Slam Dunk contest ever. Featuring two of the forefathers of the flush, it was a timeless display aerial capabilities which has seldom been matched.
The 2008-09 Denver Nuggets downed the New Orleans Hornets 121-63 in Game 2 of the first-round of the Western Conference playoffs. The 58-point triumph was the largest margin of victory in NBA playoff history, a mark that still stands to this day. The then Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony scored all 26 of his points in the game’s first three quarters and didn’t set foot onto the floor in the fourth.
“Every coach talks about a playoff game, every possession having value, every possession having intensity to it,” then Denver head coach George Karl told the media after the game. “I thought my team, probably in my career, I’ve never seen a team probably do that on every possession—do what they were supposed to and play the game the right way—as much as they did tonight.”
Defensive Player of the Year - Mutumbo
In this fourth season in the NBA, Dikembe Mutombo capture his first of four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and his only in a Nuggets uniform. Mutombo started and each of the Nuggets’ 82 regular season games, leading the NBA in blocks (321) and blocks per game at 3.9 to help the Nuggets finish 41-41 and reach the Western Conference Playoffs.
Nuggets Tie Record for 3-pointers in a Game (24)
The Nuggets made it rain inside Pepsi Center on Feb. 13, 2017, tying the NBA record for 3-pointers in a game when they nailed 24 of 41 attempts (58.5 percent) in a 132-110 win against the Golden State Warriors. Juancho Hernangomez (6), Jameer Nelson (5), Will Barton (4), Gary Harris (4), Jamal Murray (2) and Mike Miller (2) each hit multiple triples in the landslide victory.
Nuggets Draft Carmelo
With the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Carmelo Anthony fresh off leading Syracuse to a national championship in his lone season as an Orangeman. In eight seasons in Denver, the small forward averaged 24.8 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. Anthony was first-team selection to the all-rookie team and was named an all-star on four occasions as a Nugget.