After losing the first two games to the SuperSonics with an average margin of 17 points, Denver went on a three-game winning streak which advanced them to the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs. The Win or Go Home game 5 finished 98-94 in favor of the Nuggets, behind Robert Pack’s 26 points performance off the bench.
Denver displayed an incredible team basketball, as five of their players scored in double digits over a five-game series. LaPhonso Ellis was their leading scorer with 16.8 PPG, Reggie Williams put up 14.4, Dikembe Mutombo averaged 12.6 points to go along with 12.2 rebounds, and Robert Pack – Game 7 hero – averaged 11 points per game.
The one who made a big impact on Denver’s upset over the Sonics was Bryant Stith, a 6-5 shooting guard who started in all five games for the Nuggets. Over the course of the series, Stith averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, and as the team’s fifth-leading scorer, he left a lasting imprint on Denver’s historic accomplishment.
Nothing else can compare to that moment. We were a young team who were hungry; we had a bunch of young stars who were looking to make their impact on the league and make a name for themselves. We have been playing up and down basketball the entire season, but when we got into the postseason, it just seemed to all come together for us, and our confidence grew.Bryant Stith
Stith also drew parallels between this year’s Denver Nuggets and the team he’s been a part of in ’94. ‘Both teams had prolific scoring point guards,’ he said. ‘Both teams also had dominant centers in Dikembe Mutombo and Nikola Jokić. And then you had a host of other players who just contributed at different points in time.’
And while Bryant believes the Nuggets of the 90s weren’t given enough time to grow, he hopes that the young core of Jokić and Murray will be given that opportunity and that the Denver won’t lose its star player to a big market team once again. Because the ’94 Nuggets sure were a great basketball team, and the historic 1-8 upset proves it. They just weren’t given enough time to grow, and that’s something Stith hopes won’t happen with today’s group in Denver. And let me tell you, we all hope for the same.