L. Brown blasts H. Brown for not controlling his players. H. Brown calls L. Brown "the biggest crybaby in the league."
Kentucky has Denver stymied with an offense using the quick penetration of Bird Averitt. The Bird has been flying with 40 points in one victory, 34 in another.
As the ABA's largest crowd ever, 18,821, settles in, Hubie Brown buries the hatchet. "This crowd, this arena and this game," he says, "will be a tribute to our league and to basketball."
One man makes it so. David Thompson comes to play. The Denver rookie has been frustrated so far in the series. After one Nugget defeat he sobbed shamelessly.
Now with his team behind, Thompson soars and dives and banks for 10 second-quarter points and a 57-56 Denver half-time lead.
In the third quarter the Nuggets are behind again when that inevitable magic moment arrives. Thompson floats above the lane. Artis Gilmore goes up in front of him. At the ceiling Gilmore cleanly blocks while Wil Jones bangs Thompson from the side. But somehow David pulls back the ball, double-pumps, hangs some more and lofts it over everybody for the score. It is a slap-five-and-stomp-your-brains-out play. It is the beginning of a 17-6 Denver spurt in which he scores 11 points.
The Nuggets' lead is 10, then 16 while Thompson is hitting eight straight baskets from all over. At the end of Denver's 133-110 victory, Nugget Bobby Jones has five blocks, Ralph Simpson 14 assists and Dan Issel 24 points and 12 rebounds in outplaying his old teammate Gilmore. But dynamite David Thompson, who says, "Once I get going, it's hard to stop," contributes 40 points, 10 rebounds, five assists.
"Fantastic, simply amazing," Gilmore sighs. "This kid is in a category of his own."
THURSDAY RICHFIELD, OHIO
Welcome to the Coliseum in the cow pasture. The land of the maniacs. The Din of Destiny. They are lined up on the highways for hours dressed in miners' helmets with revolving lights on top, driving vans with toy dead chickens tied behind. Raging in the parking lot, they vow to kidnap a German shepherd and sic him on poor Tiny, the dachshund. This is the NBA's largest playoff crowd, 21,564 screamers here to watch their beloved Cleveland Cavaliers do it to Washington one more time.