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Nuggets 115, Knicks 108: Scenes from a better brand of bummer

For a while the Knicks got well, then came the expected L.

Denver Nugget vs New York Knicks Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

It’s 2019 and the Knicks clearly resolved not to fall behind by 40 in the first half anymore. Success! Tonight they were in the game till the very end, falling to the Denver Nuggets 115-108. Denver welcomed back Gary Harris and the recently resurrected Paul Millsap. They also welcomed back Emmanuel Mudiay, who played his first game in the Mile High City as a non-Nugget. More impactful than who came back was he who never left: Nikola Jokic, who looks like asthma incarnate but whose game takes your breath away.

Jokic had six assists in the first quarter.

Such a smart passer. If the NBA were a room, Jokic is the rug that really ties it together, man.

Meanwhile, Kevin Knox had 13 in the opening frame, including three three-point plays.

The Knicks, across the board, were sharing the ball, pushing the pace, and looking legit. Moms everywhere approved.

Many Knicks accorded themselves well. One of them — you might wanna sit for this — was Enes Kanter. It turns out not everything is his fault.

In fact, sometimes Kanter did a right proper job.

Sometimes his D helped the Knicks get off to the races.

By “his D” I meant defense, ya perv.

One lovely sequence featured Frank Ntilikina dishing to Damyean Dotson dishing back to Ntilikina.

If you were a Knick fan in May 1990, that play may have looked familiar.

It wasn’t all hunky and dory for Frank.

But the good stuff kept on keeping on. This dish from Frank to Kanter capped a 17-4 run and put the Knicks up eight.

Malik Beasley kept hurting the Knicks. Every time I heard his name I thought I’d heard “Malik Sealy” and got happy and sad. In the final few minutes of the first half New York missed a million not-bad looks, letting Denver finish on a 9-0 run.

Twas a back-and-forth affair throughout. As Jokic giveth, Jokic taketh away: every time Tim Hardaway Jr. saw the big Serb as the last line of defense, his eyes grew big as Belgrade.

At one point in the third the game was all tied up 69-69. Nice. Nice.

Mudiay looked pretty good in his Denver homecoming.

Hopefully he did enough to get the bad taste of his time there out of the mouth of the Nugget faithful.

It was Millsap who keyed Denver pulling ahead for good late.

Frank was good all night. Comfortable. Confident. Quietly effective.

Mudiay briefly went into takeover mode when no other Knick was up for doing much.

But in the end...dagger.

A loss, but def a better one. Recap a-comin’.