OKLAHOMA CITY — Carmelo Anthony didn’t need to wait until the final second this time.
Instead, the Nuggets forward made a driving layup with 5.3 seconds remaining Wednesday night to give his team a 114-113 win over Oklahoma City at the Ford Center.
Anthony on Jan. 2 had drilled a three-pointer with one-tenth of a second remaining to give the Nuggets a 122-120 win at Oklahoma City.
This time, Anthony, who scored a game-most 32 points, drove the lane against the Thunder with his team trailing 113-112. His off-balance layup put the Nuggets up for good, and all Oklahoma City could get at the end was a desperation 30-footer by forward Kevin Durant.
Durant, who scored 31 points, had given the Thunder a 112-111 lead on a driving layup with 17.2 seconds left.
The Nuggets (33-16) played without starters Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin. But they stormed back for their third straight win.
Billups sat out due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the second quarter Tuesday against San Antonio. Martin missed his second straight game with strep throat and tonsillitis.
With the two out, the Nuggets often looked lost in the first half, and fell behind 70-59. But the Nuggets got their game going in the second half, when guard J.R. Smith scored 14 of his 22 points.
The Nuggets outscored the Thunder (11-38) 30-24 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 94-89. Then they made a big run at the start of the fourth quarter to take a 106-102 lead.
The Thunder came back to take a 109-108 lead on an inside jumper by Russell Westbrook with 1:46 left.
But Smith drilled a three-pointer to put the Nuggets up 111-109 with 1:29 left. Durant tied the score on a pair of foul shots with 1:20 remaining.
Smith then split a pair of foul shots with 22.5 seconds left for a 112-111 lead.
Forward Jeff Green added 24 points for the Thunder.
With Billups out, the Nuggets’ only true point guard was Anthony Carter, who got the start and played 35 minutes. Nuggets coach George Karl had been worried about the minutes when Carter was out and Smith was running the point.
But Denver’s problems early were on defense. The Nuggets watched as the Thunder shot 52.1 percent in the first half.
The Nuggets, though, began to heat up themselves in the third quarter. They shot 14-of-24 in the quarter while outscoring Oklahoma City 30-24 to cut the deficit to 94-89.
In the fourth quarter, Smith heated up, scoring 12 points. When Thunder guard Earl Watson was called for a clear-path foul, it sent Smith to the foul line with 5:32 left. He made the second of two foul shots for a 103-102 lead, Denver’s first lead since 40-39 midway through the third quarter.
The Nuggets soon extended the lead to 106-102. But the Thunder came back, setting the stage for another dramatic ending.
The Nuggets played the first of eight straight games on the road. The trip actually is broken up by the All-Star break, with five games before it and three after it.
The Nuggets next play Friday at Washington. Karl expects Martin to return then, but isn’t sure about Billups.
The teams played for the first time since a Jan. 7 trade in which the Nuggets sent guard Chucky Atkins and a first-round pick to Oklahoma City for center Johan Petro and a second-round pick. While Atkins didn’t play, Petro totaled two points and four rebounds in eight first-half minutes.
The Nuggets also got a solid game from reserve big man Chris Andersen, who had 12 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes in a city where he played for the first half of 2005-06 when New Orleans played the bulk of its games in Oklahoma City due to Hurricane Katrina. Andersen, though, fouled out with 3:13 remaining.
Before the game, Andersen, known as “Birdman,’’ said he wants his new moniker to be “Birdzilla.’’
This one went down to the wire and Melo made the game winning layup!
But still, can't believe the Nuggets pulled this one out after being down 16 points at one time. The 1st half was just painful to watch, especially the 2nd quarter. They allowed OKC to score 70 points in that half. But in the end, what matters is that they fought back and walked away with the W. Let's keep this mini-streak going!
ridiculous road trip. but i say we get out of it 5-2
@ Washington W
@ New Jersey W
@ Miami W
@ Orlando L
@ Philadelphia L
@ Chicago W
@ Milwaukee W
I can see the Nuggets losing to the Nets since it's a back2back/road game. I'll say 50/50 chance they either win or lose depending on how they perform against the Wizards tonight. If it ends up being a blowout game and the starters rest in the 4th, then I like our chances against the Nets tomorrow. Also, we need the team back all healthy if we want to go 5-2 on this crazy ass road trip.
Note that Melo's been averaging 39ppg and shooting 65% in his last 3 meetings with the Wizards. Including scoring his career high, 49 points in their last meeting. And Melo's been long due for a 50+ point game, could this be the night? (Hopes)
Great game tonight. Nuggets started off slow in the 1st quarter, but then got it rolling from that point on. Melo had a nice overall game including a sweet 1 handed dunk. Billups started off slow, not sure how much the ankle was bothering him, but then he exploded for 11 points or so in the 3rd quarter. Both the Birdman and DJ played great tonight! Birdman had like what, 5 blocks in the 1st half? Ridiculous! And as for Dahntay, I just love how he constantly attacks the basket when given the ball. He also made couple of jumpers in the game as well. And oh yeah, Balkman played good in limited minutes as well. Man, he stole the ball twice in less than a minute or so at one point. Too bad he got hit in the face and didn't return, hope he's alright. As for JR and Kleiza, both played solid tonight. I liked that JR didn't force any bad shots in this game tonight; though he needs to work on his freethrows, sh*ts horrible. Also, none of the starters played major minutes tonight, which is important cuz they play their final 4th game in 5 nights tomorrow.
WASHINGTON (AP)—In a game that devolved into a Denver dunk contest, the Nuggets welcomed back starters Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups and showed no compunction about beating up on a beaten-down opponent in a 124-103 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
Carmelo Anthony delivered 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists—and created or finished some scintillating slams that had teammates leaping off their sideline seats for chest bumps. It was a fitting way to celebrate the best 50-game record (34-16) for the Nuggets since they joined the NBA in 1976.
Billups came back from a sprained right ankle to score 16 points against a Wizards team that dressed only nine players because of injury and illness and fell to an NBA-worst 10-40.
Martin, returning after missing two games with strep throat, had his share of highlight-worthy dunks, too, and finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The trio of Anthony, Billups and Martin sat out the entire fourth quarter. Which made perfect sense, given that the score was 102-70 after three and the Nuggets were coasting to their fourth consecutive victory.
The fans were booing pretty loudly by then, although unlike Washington’s previous home game—Wednesday’s 27-point loss to New Jersey—there were no chants of “Eddie Jordan,” the coach fired by the Wizards after a 1-10 start.
This time, the portion of the crowd that remained to the end was doing the wave, seemingly ignoring what was happening on the court. The Nuggets led by as many as 36 points and improved to 20-1 this season against teams with losing records.
Antawn Jamison, the only member of the Wizards’ ideal starting lineup in uniform, led the hosts with 26 points and eight rebounds. His co-captain, Caron Butler, missed a second consecutive game with the flu, joining the lengthy list of missing players: Gilbert Arenas (knee), Brendan Haywood (wrist), DeShawn Stevenson (back), Etan Thomas (knee) and Andray Blatche (knee).
The Wizards did get Juan Dixon back after he missed one game with an elbow injury, prompting interim coach Ed Tapscott to mockingly rejoice before tipoff, “So we’re up to nine!”
Asked if he felt any empathy for the worn-down Wizards, Nuggets coach George Karl smirked and replied: “Yesterday and tomorrow.”
Still, the Wizards actually pulled out to a 21-14 lead on Mike James’ 3-pointer with about 4 minutes left in the first quarter.
That was pretty much the end of the evening’s competitive portion.
Anthony made a 16-foot fadeaway jumper on the next possession, opening a 21-2 run stretching into the second period that made it 35-23.
With Washington missing its top three centers, Denver found its path to the basket unimpeded. Over and over again, possessions ended with drives and dunks, alley-oops and no-look assists.
One of Martin’s rim-shaking deposits put Denver ahead 41-25, prompting Washington to call a timeout. As second-year Wizards guard Nick Young loped to the sideline with head bowed, Tapscott tried to lift his young player’s spirits by clapping and repeating, “That’s OK. That’s OK.”
But things would only get more one-sided, and by halftime the Nuggets were ahead 68-48.
Wizards G Javaris Crittenton made his first career NBA start, recording 10 points and seven assists. … Dahntay Jones scored eight of Denver’s first 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting, all jumpers. He didn’t attempt another shot until— what else?—a soaring alley-oop jam off Anthony’s assist in the third quarter. Jones finished with a season-high 18 points.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—The young New Jersey Nets are getting over their inconsistencies and starting to show signs they can be a playoff team.
Devin Harris scored 14 of his 28 points from the free-throw line and the New Jersey Nets posted their second biggest victory in franchise history with a stunning 114-70 decision over the frustrated Denver Nuggets on Saturday night.
“It’s good for us, good for our egos,” Harris said after the Nets posted their season-high fourth straight win. “Obviously we feel good about ourselves and now we’ve got to continue to keep it going.”
The Nets (24-27) have posted some impressive wins in this post-Jason Kidd era, knocking off Dallas and Detroit here. Their problem has been failing to show up for some games they should win.
“We can come out and play the tough basketball against the best teams, now we just ask for some consistency,” Vince Carter said. “If you’re going to be a good team like that one, then you have to come with the same mentality against teams that aren’t that good. We talk about playing at a high level, and we talk about playing playoff ball, let’s go play playoff basketball.”
For one night, the Nets looked like a serious contender in handing the Nuggets their worst loss since a 107-63 setback to Portland on April 16, 1997.
“Sometimes you’re one step slow,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “Tonight we were two steps slow. Offensively we were slow. Defensively we were slow. Rebounds, hustle points, all that we were slow on. This is the first time all year we haven’t had the energy to fight back.”
New Jersey built a season-high 20-point lead at the half and extended it to 37 points after third quarters in handing the Nuggets their worst loss of the season, one that saw Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Karl all hit with second-quarter technicals for arguing with the officiating crew.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and was only the 17th of the season for Denver, which was off to its best 50-game start since joining the NBA in 1976.
“I’ve been in this league a long time and I know you’re going to have three to four games like this on both sides,” Billups said. “It’s over. We washed it off in the shower.”
Rookie Brook Lopez added 15 points and nine rebounds for New Jersey, while Carter had 12 points and eight assists.
Anthony had 15 points to lead the Nuggets on a night that the Nets refused to let them get to the rim, one of the staples of an offense that was averaging 104.7 points, fourth best in the league.
The 70 points were a season low and the final margin was a season worst. It was also only their second loss in 22 games against a team with a sub .500 record.
“We caught them on a good night, but our guys took full advantage of it,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.
The Nets took command with a 26-8 spurt that bridged the end of the first quarter and the start of the second.
Harris hit six free throws in an 11-2 spurt that gave New Jersey a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter. Carter hit a jumper, converted a three-point play and scored eight points in the 15-6 run that started the second quarter.
Denver’s frustration with the officiating came to the surface in the second quarter. Karl was called for a technical foul after Anthony seemed to get hit on a rebound follow and nothing was called.
Denver Nuggets' Linas Kleiza, left, Chauncey Billups, center, and Kenyon Martin, right, watch from the bench during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New Jersey Nets, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Nets defeated the Nuggets 114-70.
Denver Nuggets' Linas Klei…
AP - Feb 7, 10:54 pm EST
Anthony and Billups both got technicals with 26.7 seconds left in the half, with Billups seemingly stunned that he was getting his right after his buddy.
New Jersey shot almost 69 percent in the third quarter in turning the game into a rout. Harris had 11 in the quarter and Lopez added nine.
Nets rookie Ryan Anderson finished with his first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Nuggets took a train ride north after Friday night’s game in Washington. … New Jersey’s biggest previous halftime lead this season was 13. … The loss prevented Denver from getting 19 games over the .500 mark for the first time since 1987-88. … The loss also snapped the Nuggets’ three-game winning streak against New Jersey. … The Nuggets previous worst loss this season was 18 points. Denver’s previous season low for points was 81. Harris’ 14 free throws made matched Denver’s total made.
I know that this was Denver's 4th game in 5 days and the players are a little worn out and whatnot, but for ****s sake, show some pride! 44 pt loss to a team that was 4 games below .500 coming in. Unbelievable!
I'm done ranting now.
Next Game: Miami! (Please, rebound the ball Denver!)
Coming off their worst loss in 12 seasons, the Denver Nuggets are hoping a trip to Miami will get their eight-game trip back on track.
The Heat, meanwhile, are looking for their sixth win in seven home games on Tuesday night when they host the Northwest Division leaders.
Denver (34-17), which has won three straight in Miami and seven in a row overall against the Heat, is looking to rebound from Saturday’s 114-70 loss to New Jersey that snapped its four-game winning streak. It was the Nuggets’ most lopsided loss since a 107-63 defeat at Portland on April 16, 1997.
“Sometimes you’re one step slow,” said Denver coach George Karl, whose team is 2-1 on its trip. “Tonight we were two steps slow. Offensively we were slow. Defensively we were slow. Rebounds, hustle points, all that we were slow on. This is the first time all year we haven’t had the energy to fight back.”
Carmelo Anthony had just 15 points in 27 minutes on Saturday. He faces the Heat for the first time since posting a double-double with 22 points and 11 boards in Denver’s 114-113 overtime win in Miami on Feb. 12, 2008. Anthony missed the Nuggets’ 108-97 victory over Miami on Jan. 7 after suffering a broken bone in his right hand two nights earlier versus Indiana.
Playing in his second game since spraining his right ankle in Denver’s 104-96 win over San Antonio on Feb. 3, All-Star Chauncey Billups had nine points and three assists on Saturday as the Nuggets scored their fewest points since an 87-70 loss to Billups’ Detroit Pistons on Jan. 26, 2005.
“I’ve been in this league a long time and I know you’re going to have three to four games like this on both sides,” said Billups, who had 21 points and six assists in Denver’s win against the Heat last month. “It’s over. We washed it off in the shower.”
Billups is averaging 11.2 points and 7.4 assists in his last five games in Miami, shooting only 29.1 percent and averaging 3.0 turnovers during these visits.
Lately, the Heat have enjoyed plenty of success in Miami, with their last four home wins coming by an average of 16.5 points. Miami has forced 16.8 turnovers per game during this stretch while holding its opponents to 41.6 percent shooting.
Playing in the second game of a back-to-back set, the Heat (27-23) snapped a two-game slide on Sunday with a 96-92 win over visiting Charlotte.
“We may have had a fatigued group out there,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I wanted to make sure we were fresh in the second half and I thought our starters played with a tremendous amount of energy when they had their legs.”
Despite playing with the flu, Dwyane Wade hit 10-of-19 shots and scored 22 points against the Bobcats. He also needed six stitches after getting elbowed in the eye by Charlotte forward Juwan Howard.
Wade had 25 points, five boards and four assists in Miami’s last win over Denver—107-100 on Dec. 17, 2004.
Mario Chalmers posted his first career double-double on Sunday with 16 points and season-high 13 assists.
“Ever since the first game, I’ve been waiting for (a double-double),” said Chalmers, who had 12 points and seven assists in the Jan. 7 loss. “Finally got it.”
Miami shot a season-high 56.0 percent in Sunday’s win, but faces a Denver squad that’s among the league leaders in field goal defense at 44.4 percent.
* While much has been made of Anthony having a 7-4 edge against Cleveland in games in which he and fellow 2003 draftee LeBron James have played, he has done better against Miami's Dwayne Wade, another top player from that draft. While Anthony didn't play in the Nuggets' 108-97 win Jan. 7 against the Heat because of a broken right hand, Denver has a 7-2 edge in games Anthony and Wade have played.
Two of my fav players going at it. Am anxious to see how the Nuggets respond after that horrible loss to the Nets the other day. Miami's great at home(17-8), so this will be a challenge for the Nugz. Hopefully, Nuggets get the win and both Melo/Wade play great tonight!