NBA Game Summary - Denver at Cleveland
(Thursday, February 18th)
Final Score: Denver 118, Cleveland 116 (OT)
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony sank the go-ahead jumper over LeBron James with 1.9 seconds left in overtime, and James missed a game- winning three at the other end as Denver took a 118-116 win over Cleveland.
James had a 43-point, 15-assist, 13-rebound triple-double for the Cavaliers, and sank a game-tying three in the final minute of regulation. But it was Anthony who came up huge in the final seconds of the extra session as Denver snapped Cleveland's 13-game winning streak.
Anthony finished with 40 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Nuggets, who swept the season series, having taken a two-point win over Cleveland on January 8 in Denver.
Kenyon Martin had 18 points and 17 rebounds for Denver, which was playing its first game since head coach George Karl disclosed Tuesday he has a treatable form of neck and throat cancer.
"I'm amazed that we can make so many mistakes and can still win," Karl said. "It was a great game. Great game to watch, but I'm not sure that it will go on my coaching resume as very polished. We probably should've won the game a little easier, but we kept giving them chances and they kept taking advantage of it."
Shaquille O'Neal had 18 points for Cleveland, which also had its 11-game home winning streak come to an end.
In overtime, Chauncey Billups sank a key three from the left corner, which put the Nuggets ahead 116-111 with 1:18 on the clock. But the Cavaliers came back, beginning with Anthony Parker's two foul shots moments later.
After a series of missed shots, James drove past Nene on the left side and got his runner to fall as he was fouled. The subsequent free throw evened the game with 23.1 seconds to play.
The Nuggets went to Anthony at the other end and the star delivered. He quickly rose for a shot on the left side, getting it off over James' outstretched arm, and the ball fell through with 1.9 on the clock.
"You want to go against the best on the biggest stage," James said. "We both did what we had to do to put our teams in position to win; he just made one more play. It was a great shot. If I got any closer, I was going to foul him."
James got the ball on an inbounds play and slipped, but managed to get a long three-pointer away before the buzzer. Incredibly, it was on the mark, but the ball hit off the rim to seal the Nuggets' win.
The end of regulation provided similar theatrics to send the contest to an extra session.
With just under two minutes left, Martin sank a jumper to make it a 102-102 game, and Billups sank two foul shots moments later to put the Nuggets in front.
James then made only 1-of-2 from the line before he and Anthony put on a coast-to-coast exhibition of great players at work. First, Anthony had the ball with his back to James and spun to his left to get into open space. Anthony quickly shifted direction before getting a short shot to fall for a 106-103 edge with 57.5 seconds left.
But James had an almost immediate answer, draining a three less than 10 seconds later.
Both teams had chances for points in the remaining time, but Parker missed a three before Billups' three was off the mark. James missed a desperation three at the buzzer sounded.
Martin had 10 points and five rebounds in the first quarter to help the Nuggets take a 31-21 lead. They expanded their lead to a game-high 15 several times early in the frame, including when a J.R. Smith jumper made it 38-23.
However, the Cavaliers scored the next eight points and were within 52-44 at the break.
Cleveland drew even with a five-point burst near the midway point of the third quarter. James ended it with a jumper for a 60-60 game, and the Cavaliers edged in front later in the frame, taking a 79-75 edge to the fourth.
Cleveland was ahead 94-87 with just under eight minutes left, but the Nuggets followed with the next seven points to even the score again.
Cleveland shot 50 percent, but made just 23-of-40 from the free throw line...James' triple-double was his third of the season and 27th of his career...Billups finished with 18 points and eight assists, while Smith had 14 points for Denver...Antawn Jamison, who the Cavaliers acquired from Washington on Wednesday, was at the arena, but didn't play...J.J. Hickson and Parker had 14 and 13 points, respectively, for Cleveland...The Cavaliers fell to 24-4 at home, while Denver improved to 13-13 on the road.
02/19 01:38:37 ET