There are those times. You know them. Such as when Andre Miller hoists a 3-pointer late in the game and the entire sports bar bellows, "Noooooooo!" Or the times he puts the pin in the balloon, slowly setting up a half-court possession when the Nuggets have been flying up and down the court. Or the times his defense becomes offensive.
But the point guard is going to be on the floor late, if the game is on the line. He's a veteran, a chess master.
And lately, he has helped the Nuggets (40-22) win important games, be it with his clutch shot at Portland or his splurge at Sacramento on Tuesday, when Miller scored 10 points and had four assists in the fourth quarter.
"That's kind of how our team is. You never know who's going to grab the steering wheel and who's going to drive us home," coach George Karl said after the Nuggets beat the Kings 120-113. "People don't think that's good. I think it's a pretty versatile asset to have."
Next up for the red-hot Nuggets: the Los Angeles Clippers at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night. In two games against the Clippers this season, Miller has averaged 12 points and nine assists. His season averages are 9.1 points and 5.9 assists.
Asked about having Miller and Ty Lawson on the floor together, teammate Danilo Gallinari said: "It's great, especially because Ty and Andre know how to play basketball. We know each other, and we've been playing with each other for a while. They know where to find me, and I know where to find them."
Gallo vs. Cousins. During the Sacramento game, Gallinari was thrown to the ground by the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins. Gallo and Cousins had to be separated by teammates and referees.
After the game, Gallo said: "When you talk trash, it's fine as long as you don't disrespect. I never approach nobody who trash talks to me. I like that and loved it. But it has to be in the respect area. You go out of the respect area, that doesn't work with me. (Cousins) said a lot of bad stuff. Being from Italy, he said some stuff I don't even understand. I'm a lover, not a fighter."
The Nuggets and Kings meet again March 23 at the Pepsi Center.
Smart praise. Kings coach Keith Smart likes the way Lawson and Andre Iguodala are playing. "Lawson does a good job of keeping his dribble alive so that you have to overhelp on him," Smart said. Referring to Iguodala, he said: "If you're trying to score from a dribble standpoint, he's going to be able to hold you from that."