NBA 2K Game Recap: Nuggets secure 74-67 win vs. The Last Dance Bulls
In a matchup for the ages, it was Carmelo Anthony and the 2007-08 Nuggets who would prevail against Michael Jordan and the legendary 1997-98 Bulls.
Anthony poured in a game-high 30 points and dished out four dimes to power Denver to a 74-67 thriller over one of the best teams to have ever graced the NBA. Michael Jordan, of course, led the “The Last Dance” Bulls with 24 points and five assists.
Although the Nuggets weren’t the best defensive team during the 2007-08 season, sitting second to last in points allowed at 107 per game, the team rose to the occasion Thursday night. The Bulls only had two double-digit scorers on the night, Jordan and Toni Kukoč, and were held to under 70 points.
The Bulls would enter the break with a 32-31 lead after a tight first half where both teams traded baskets. Denver would assert themselves in the final 12 minutes of though. Anthony would give the Nuggets their first lead in the second half, slamming it in with two hands to give them a 35-34 advantage. After Jordan missed a pair of free throws, the Nuggets would go on a 9-4 run to give the home team some cushion against Chicago. Denver would take a four-point lead into the final six minutes of the game.
Jordan would get hot in the fourth quarter, but Iverson would score seven points for the Nuggets to secure a victory for Denver.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Melo, AI to the rescue
When Allen Iverson joined the Nuggets in 2006, he and Anthony instantly became one of the highest-scoring duos in NBA history. Iverson’s trade to Denver paired the NBA’s top two scorers at the time together, with Anthony at No. 1 (31.6) and Iverson No. 2 (31.2) and. They would combine to average 52.8 points a game in the two seasons they played together. It was more of the same against the Bulls.
The duo combined for 46 points on 21-of-31 shooting, with Iverson chipping in 16 points and four assists. Anthony’s hot start, scoring 20 points in his first 13 minutes of action, would keep things close early on. Iverson’s precision in the final two quarters helped ice the game.
The Bulls’ tandem of journeymen centers in Luc Longley and Bill Wennington were unable to match up with the Nuggets’ rugged trio of Marcus Camby, Nene and Kenyon Martin. Dennis Rodman was a factor on the boards, but overall Chicago couldn’t get into the lane for the easy scoring opportunities it was accustomed to in the 1997-98 season. Scottie Pippen, who averaged 19.1 points a game that season, was held to single digits in the contest, showcasing just how difficult it was to penetrate into the lane.
Denver’s former unsung hero Eduardo Nájera also played a factor, as he hit a three-pointer at the end of the third quarter and also blocked Jordan early in the fourth quarter.
It might have been played on the virtual hardwood, but there is no denying how special Thursday’s contest was.
For 45 minutes, Nuggets fans got an opportunity to reunite with one of the most beloved teams in the franchise’s history. Being able to see Melo, AI, K-Mart, Nene, Marcus Camby and even Anthony Carter step out there and go against one of the best teams in NBA history certainly brought back memories.
That’s the beauty of these dream matchups.