Nuggets grab third straight win
PHILADELPHIA ” Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, including the go-ahead basket with 18.9 seconds left, and Ruben Patterson added 20 to lead the Denver Nuggets to their third straight win, 97-93 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
Marcus Camby had 13 points, 14 rebounds and one of the Nuggets’ two blocks on Philadelphia’s last true possession that allowed them to hang on for their first three-game winning streak since Jan. 14-25. Denver also improved to six games over .500 for just the second time this season.
Allen Iverson scored 38 points and Chris Webber had 17 points and 20 rebounds for the Sixers, who lost their third straight game.
Anthony scored 20 points in the second half, none bigger than when he dribbled down the baseline and came around from under the right side for a one-handed layup that put Denver ahead 95-93.
With time ticking down, Iverson had a shot blocked by DerMarr Johnson. The Sixers retained possession and Kyle Korver’s driving layup attempt was swatted away by Camby, his fifth block.
Anthony sank two free throws and the Sixers’ final desperation shot was off the mark.
This was the third straight late-game disaster for Philadelphia. The Sixers lost a seven-point lead in the final 2:20 a night earlier at Boston, and a botched defensive strategy led to an easy layup in the final seconds Sunday against Indiana.
This time, the Sixers tried to be the ones who rallied in the fourth.
Iverson hit a 14-footer that got the Sixers within two late in the quarter, then drove by Andre Miller on the left side for a layup that made it 93-all with 2:03 left. The Nuggets where whistled for a shot-clock violation on the next possession, and Iverson missed a tough, off-balance shot.
Down by 15 midway through the third, the Nuggets needed quite a rally to win the first game of a seven-game, 10-day road trip. The Nuggets opened the fourth on a 13-0 run, getting a game-tying 3-pointer from Earl Boykins, then another 3 from Greg Buckner that gave them an 82-79 lead.
Iverson and Webber combined for 21 of Philadelphia’s 25 points in the third quarter, but Johnson hit a 3 for Denver in the final ticks of the third that got the deficit into single digits.
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