Mar 1, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) drives to the basket during the first half against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
DENVER- "I pulled up, he gave me space and I knocked it down," said Ty Lawson.
It was as simple, and downright definitive, as that.
The Nuggets were tied with their rival, the Oklahoma City Thunder, 103-103 in the final moments. The options on who would play hero on this night were plentiful. Wilson Chandler had the hot hand, scoring a career high 35 points on the night. Andre Iguodala has eight game-winning shots to his name. Even Danilo Gallinari, who has made clutch baskets all season for Denver were viable options. Yet, the choice for George Karl was obvious.
There was only one Nuggets player to do the deed.
"I was going to shoot the last shot," Lawson confidently put.
Following a screen by Gallinari, Lawson found him isolated against the Thunder's defensive specialist Thabo Sefolosha as the clock wound down. The quick guard would win it, or the game would be headed to overtime. "I just wanted to get the last shot. I just ran the clock down to 2 or 3 seconds," Lawson said. He crossed over, giving himself the separation he needed just inside the three point line and elevated. The ball found nylon and the Nuggets "ran out of there," said Lawson, as victors.
"He had the courage to take the last shot," head coach George Karl said. "We are all happy tonight because of it."
The fourth year point guard was having an off night despite being on an absolute "tear," as Nuggets forward Andre Iguodala said, of late. Over his last eight games he has averaged over 26 points and 8 assists per contest. Lawson only scored 11 points on the night, but that didn't take away his confidence to knock down the game-winner nor did it deter his teammates from thinking the same.
"We have a lot of confidence in Ty to take the last shot," Iguodala said. "We got the ball back to him, and he knocked down the shot. It shows the confidence that he feels right now."
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