NBA Game Summary - Seattle at Denver
(Wednesday, October 31st)
Final Score: Denver 120, Seattle 103
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant missed early and often in his much- anticipated regular-season debut, finishing with 18 points and playing second fiddle to league veteran Allen Iverson in Denver's 120-103 victory over Seattle in the season opener for both teams at the Pepsi Center.
Durant finished 7-of-22 from the floor to go along with five rebounds. Damien Wilkins led Seattle with 21 points, but 19 of those came in the first half as Seattle went to the locker room down just 59-58.
The Texas product's rookie teammate Jeff Green scored five points in just under 19 minutes of action. Delonte West scored 19 points off the bench and Chris Wilcox donated 14 points with eight rebounds in the loss.
The game also marked the regular-season debut for P.J. Carlesimo as Seattle's head coach. Carlesimo had spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach in San Antonio with previous head coaching stops in Golden State and at the collegiate level with Seton Hall.
"You can't come into this building and turn the ball over like we did and expect to win," said Carlesimo. "We did some good things, but we can't be satisfied as a team."
Iverson stole the show with an all-around offensive gem, finishing with 25 points, 14 assists, seven steals and five rebounds. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 32 points and the Nuggets received positive contributions from a pair of bench players, as Eduardo Najera scored 14 points and Linas Kleiza poured in 18 points.
"First game of the season. You obviously have jitters and want to play well. It was just a good feeling to get the rust off," said Iverson.
Seattle kept the game close, trailing just 86-81 entering the fourth stanza, before Denver poured it on in the fourth.
Denver's lead grew to double-digits at 104-89 with three consecutive threes from Najera and two by Kleiza. By the time Iverson sank a pair of free throws with 3:20 left to play, the Nuggets had built a 112-94 edge.
"We definitely wanted to start out good. We did some good things, we did some bad things, but we wanted to establish our home court," said Kleiza.
Durant's three gave Seattle a 40-38 lead in the second quarter and then he converted a driving layup that pushed the edge to 46-41. After a Wilcox slam made it a seven-point game, Denver answered with five quick points capped by an Iverson layup.
The game remained close with the Nuggets holding the one-point edge at the half.
Denver shot 46.2 percent from the floor, while Seattle made 41.7 percent of its shots...Marcus Camby grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked five shots for the Nuggets...Nick Collison finished with eight points and 11 rebounds in defeat.
11/01 01:48:20 ET