The visiting Denver Nuggets managed to lead the game in the first minute and the last minute which stole the hearts of the Ford Center faithful at the Hornets final regular season game.
On Friday the 13th, the Hornets scored in every possible way — bouncing shots off the backboard, finger-roll layups and slam dunks. But despite holding an early fourth-quarter double-digit lead the Nuggets managed to play catch up very well, leaning on superstars Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson to win the game.
The pregame pomp and circumstance included National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern who waxed poetically about the two-season puppy-love romance Oklahoma City has had with the Hornets. Many other city, state and civic leaders were introduced at midcourt before the starting Hornets weaved through the crowd for the introductions.
Mayor Mick Cornett, owner George Shinn and reigning Rookie of the Year Chris Paul each spoke before tipoff. The boisterous crowd cheered on the team throughout the game and stood stunned when the team’s final three shots in the final 10 seconds missed the target and left the Hornets on the short end of the 107-105 score.
But for ticket holders, there was a tiny bit of good news. With gasoline prices nearing $3 a gallon, because the team scored more than 100 points, their tickets stubs mean $5 worth of free gasoline at Love’s Country Store locations. Little solace for the heartbroken fans.