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February 27, 2008 6:22 PM

Denver game thread

Posted by Jayda Evans

NUGGETS WIN: Denver's 138 points were the most allowed by the Sonics this season. The previous mark was 125 at Memphis in November. The 42-point deficit is the Sonics' worst of the season and fourth-worst in franchise history. It was a pathetic showing by the Supes. True, they have new pieces, but last time I checked, anyone can play defense. That's why, never mind. Only the Sonics should be dissed tonight.

NEW KIDS PLAYING: Normally you throw in your rookies when you're calling a game, but the Supes are throwing in the new players to make their KeyArena debut. The veteran players may help the Supes avoid a bad record. In 1986 Phoenix shot 67.1 percent against Seattle and Denver is currently shooting 67.5. Think the Sonics can play a little D?

STATOLICIOUS: Just in case you're counting, the Nuggets have rotated seven players and six are in double figures with Carter dishing out 10 assists. The AI fans are popping up around the Key as he is going off with a bevy of gorgeous floaters through the paint and three-pointers for 31 points so far.

WELCOME BACK CARTER: Carter is starting the fourth quarter.

CARTER HURT?: Nuggets G Anthony Carter is wincing on the end of the bench as trainers wrap his left shoulder. No word on whether he'll return. Denver is up 96-73 with 55.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

RIDNOUR OUT: Well, perhaps there's a reason why Ridnour is struggling. PR just sent word that the guard will not return due to right hamstring tightness. It was a left quad strain that kept Rid out for 15 games earlier this season.

LEGLESS IN SEATTLE: Outside of the boundless energy of Gelly, the Supes are gassed. A lot of shots are left short and they're late on defensive assignments. The Sonics are shooting 38.7 percent from the field and Ridnour is particularly struggling, going 1-for-5 from the field. He's currently on the bench and Gelly is running the offense.

NO CONTROL: The Sonics coninue to turn the ball over, which is leading to some pretty floaters for AI and power dunks for anyone else willing to run. Sonics F Jeff Green tried to hustle back on one play to catch AI, but couldn't get back after scoring in time, heaving once he reached the other end.

NOT SO MELLO: Carmelo Anthony harped at official Ken Maver about a foul as he stomped to the bench and was T'd up by the ref. He's still steaming on the bench. The Nuggets are entering the break with a 64-46 advantage.

POINT GELLY: Gelly played a little PG, again. Carlesimo is trying to get the lanky swingman to grow comfortable with the position to relieve Ridnour for stints. But when I talked to Gelly before the game about it he said he's still uncomfortable facing the faster guards and running the team. "There's a lot to remember" he said. Carlesimo hinted at Gelly working on his ball-handling this summer, but wouldn't commit to ever telling Gelly that it's key for him to know the point in order to stay with the team. Carlesimo would just like for all of the perimeter players to work on handling the ball.

BAKE SALE: Turnovers are popping up as a problem again for the Supes. They had seven in the opening quarter, which the Nuggets converted into 11 points.

IN YOUR EYE: K-Mart was looking eye-to-eye with Nick Collison as he dunked the ball in the Sonics forward's face with 2:20 remaining in the opening quarter. Wilkins responded later with two bank shots, but Supes are still down 29-19.

WILKINS RETURNS: Damien Wilkins has entered the game wearing heavy bandaging over his sprained right wrist. He'd guarding AI and missed his one shot attempt, but appears unfazed. The Nuggets are up 23-13.

NEW SITE: The Sonics are unveiling a new Web design for their site on Thursday. It's the first all-Flash site in the NBA that will allow fans behind-the-scenes video, audio, and photo content; the ability to share video content; and pre-post game content and commentary produced by Fox Sports Northwest. You can reach the site here.

WILCOX AND WILKINS FINE, WATSON NOT: PF Chris Wilcox and Damien Wilkins warmed up and are slated to play against Denver. Wilkins will wear a brace to protect his right wrist sprain. While coach P.J. Carlesimo wasn't sure how much he'd use Wilkins, the player wants to play rather than sit -- typical. Wilkins said there's still soreness, but the injury is about as good as it's going to get for now.
PG Earl Watson stayed at home with an upper respiratory infection. He's questionable for Friday's game, too. Tonight is his second missed start.

Here are tonight's starters
F Jeff Green
F Chris Wilcox
C Johan Petro
G Kevin Durant
G Luke Ridnour

F Carmelo Anthony
F Kenyon Martin
C Marcus Camby
G Allen Iverson
G Anthony Carter

Tonight's officials are Ken Maver, Michael Smith, and Sean Wright.

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