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Respectable Gamesmanship from the Wiz

For the most part, the Washington Wizards had their heads handed to them in Denver Friday night.

The Nuggets got off to a great start (a 30-16 first quarter), shot the ball extremely well from the field (56.4 percent for the game), got one incredible individual performance (Carmelo Anthony's 49 points on 19-for-25 shooting) and cruised to a 111-100 victory that really wasn't that close.

But the Wizards may have managed to salvage at least some semblance of pride in their final 11.2 seconds in the Mile High City.

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The Wizards refused to be victimized for a 50-point individual effort Friday night.

Carmelo Anthony got off to a torrid start, going for 26 points in a quarter and a half before sitting for a while and finishing teh first half with 29.  He continued to score effectively in the second half, and by the time the game was down to its final minutes, it was clear that Anthony was looking for the big five-oh.  He pulled up for a top-of-the-circle three with less than two minutes to play in a 12-point game and cruised into the lane to draw a foul and a trip to the line in a 13-point game on the Nuggets' next possession.  The two free throws put Melo at 49 for the game, and it was clear that he thought he wasn't finished.  When the Wizards scored to make it 111-100 with 11.2 seconds to play, they immediately made it clear that he was.  Two gold jerseys sprinted over to blanket Melo on the sideline, preventing him from gaining any space for himself, and the Nuggets were forced to let the clock run out (as they should have in the first place) on an 11-point victory.

Sure, preventing Melo from getting his 50 won't show up in the won-loss column for the Wizards, and they certainly lost the most important battle in Denver.  But it never hurts to see a team take some pride in its work, even in a losing cause.