NBA Game Summary - Portland at Denver
(Tuesday, April 19th)
Final Score: Denver 119, Portland 115
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony tied his season high with a team-leading 36 points, as playoff-bound Denver finished its regular season with a 119-115 victory over lottery-bound Portland at the Pepsi Center.
It was the second straight 36-point effort for Anthony, who went 12-of-25 from the field and added 13 rebounds and a career-high four blocks for Denver, which will be the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Nuggets will face the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
"Carmelo is becoming an efficient, effective scorer," Denver coach George Karl said.
Earl Boykins netted 24 points to go along with 12 assists off the bench, while Nene contributed 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who snapped a two- game losing streak to finish the season 49-33.
Under the leadership of Karl, who replaced interim head coach Michael Cooper on January 27th, Denver has compiled an impressive 32-8 record, including a 19-1 mark at home.
"This run is special, but there should be some recognition for what these guys have done," Karl said. "We are a damn good team."
Leading Portland, which missed the postseason for the second straight season after a string of 21 consecutive playoff appearances, was Darius Miles with a career-high 47 points and 12 boards.
Ruben Patterson chipped in 16 points while Damon Stoudamire had 14 and rookie Sebastian Telfair recorded 11 points and 13 assists for the Blazers, who have lost four straight and 10 of their last 11 at Denver.
After trailing for most of the game, Denver took the lead late in the third quarter and entered the final 12 minutes with a 90-88 edge.
A Boykins jumper gave the Nuggets a 106-102 lead with four minutes to play, before Portland tied the game at 106. However, Denver reclaimed its edge after another Boykins jumper and a Greg Buckner dunk.
Portland would pull to within 110-108, but Denver got a three-pointer from Wesley Person and a layup from Anthony to take a 115-108 edge with 33.8 seconds to play.
The first half was all Portland, which surged to a 28-22 advantage after the first quarter. In the second period, the Blazers blitzed Denver for 42 points to head into halftime with a 70-56 cushion.
The Nuggets came out of intermission on a mission, limiting Portland to just 18 points in the quarter, while scoring 34 themselves.
"Defensively we were a pretty good team in the second half," Karl said.
This was the fourth and final meeting of the season between the clubs, with Denver winning three...The Nuggets lost in five games to Minnesota in the first round of the 2004 playoffs...Denver went 31-10 as the host this season...The Nuggets have won 12 in a row at the Pepsi Center...Denver's last loss at home was on March 13th to the Suns...The Blazers will close out their season on Wednesday at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
04/20 00:20:11 ET