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Nuggets 113, Knicks 97: Scenes from a first quarter to forget

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Ugh.

NBA: New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks haven’t won in Denver since time immemorial. Even when the Knicks are pretty good — which is rare — the Nuggets are always better. It figures, then, that the Nuggets would hand New York their first bona fide ass-whooping in a long time.

Don’t pay attention to the 113-97 final score — this game was a blowout from the very beginning. Denver jumped all over the Knicks from the opening tip, and the starters had no answer. Nerlens Noel couldn’t handle presumptive league MVP Nikola Jokic. Elfrid Payton got too many minutes and responded to the Nuggets’ intensity like a chump.

Julius Randle was bad. RJ Barrett missed his first eight shots. The bench played well in the second quarter but got wiped off the floor in the second half. It sucked.

Anyway, the Knicks were never going to win all six games on this road trip. The Hawks beat the Suns tonight, so fourth place in the East is tighter than ever.

Recap to come.