Afflalo returns to lineup vs. Thunder in Game 3

Arron Afflalo returned to the starting lineup for the first time

in two weeks as the Nuggets hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder in

Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night.

Afflalo has been hobbled by a strained left hamstring, watching

from the bench while the Nuggets fell into an 0-2 hole. He’s tried

to return three times since mid-March only to aggravate the

injury.

Nuggets coach George Karl said the team has missed his ”even

keel” nature on the court. Afflalo is the team’s top defender and

go-to scorer in crunch time, especially since the February trade

that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks.

Afflalo downplayed the notion of being rusty and said his

hamstring feels as good as it’s felt in weeks.