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News » Nuggets 126, Suns 120 2008-04-02


Nuggets 126, Suns 120 2008-04-02


Nuggets 126, Suns 120 2008-04-02
DENVER (AP) - Carmelo Anthony grabbed two key rebounds and sank two free throws in the final 27 seconds, sending the Denver Nuggets past the Phoenix Suns 126-120 Tuesday night.

The Nuggets pulled into eighth place in the ultra-competitive Western Conference playoff race, a half-game ahead of Golden State, which lost at San Antonio 116-92 Tuesday night.

And they denied the Suns a chance to move into first place by themselves in the Pacific Division over the idle Los Angeles Lakers.

Denver got 31 points from Allen Iverson in avenging a loss at Phoenix 24 hours earlier in which the Nuggets blew a 22-point, second-half lead in a 132-117 loss on Monday night.

This time, they frittered away a 14-point lead, but unlike a night earlier, they were able to recover from their meltdown.

Leandro Barbosa led the Suns with 27 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it with 15 seconds left. Anthony grabbed the board and sank one of two free throws, just as he had after pulling down a miss by Steve Nash with 27 seconds left.

After Nash (17 points and 18 assists) missed a 3-pointer, Shaquille O'Neal got the rebound and drew the foul but missed both free throws. Kenyon Martin pulled down the second miss and sank two foul shots for the final margin, securing Denver's ninth straight win at home.

The Suns didn't grab their first lead until Nash sank two free throws with 3:11 left, putting Phoenix on top 113-112. It seesawed after that until Marcus Camby's slow-motion jumper from the top of the key with 37 seconds left gave Denver a 122-120 lead.

Nene, who returned last week after missing 2 1/2 months because of a malignant testicular tumor, played meaningful minutes for the second straight night, helping frustrate O'Neal down low.

Still, the Suns gave a great effort for being without two key players.

Forward Grant Hill missed his third straight game with a strained right groin, and guard Raja Bell was ejected after picking two quick technicals in the third quarter.

The Suns had trimmed a 14-point, first-half deficit to 74-71 when the officials assessed Bell and Anthony a double-technical and admonished them both. Bell immediately pushed off on Anthony and drew the foul, then mouthed off, drawing his second technical and automatic ejection.

J.R. Smith added 17 points for the Nuggets, who watched helplessly a night earlier as the Suns rallied behind Stoudemire's 41 points and Nash's 36.

"This is a professional pride game," Nuggets coach George Karl said before tip-off. "Back-to-backs always have an animosity and an energy to them. The way they came back on us ..."

Notes: Denver improved to 31-7 at home, where it's won 19 of 21. ... Five of the Suns' seven remaining games are against teams that are in the playoffs or still in the hunt. ... The Nuggets' next three games are against lottery teams: Sacramento, Seattle and the Los Angeles Clippers.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 2, 2008

 

 
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