NBA Game Summary - Denver at Indiana
(Saturday, January 29th)
Final Score: Denver 95, Indiana 88
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Kenyon Martin scored 25 points as Denver moved to 2-0 in the George Karl era with a 95-88 victory over slumping Indiana at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Carmelo Anthony added 15 points while Marcus Camby had 13 along with 12 rebounds as the Nuggets snapped a near 10-year winless streak in Indiana. Bryon Russell chipped in 13 points off the bench for Denver, which last emerged triumphant in the Hoosier State on March 31, 1995.
The Nuggets had lost the first three of their five-game road trip before Friday's 106-100 win at Milwaukee in Karl's debut.
"For us to get back into the playoff race we have to win on the road and win in different ways," said Karl. "I always thought (we) were talented. I still need to figure out how to bring the pieces together. The more I get to know them, the better feel I will get."
Jermaine O'Neal finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers but made just 7-of-18 field goal attempts. Stephen Jackson compiled 14 points and 10 boards and Jamaal Tinsley dished out 10 assists in a 14-point effort in Indiana's fourth loss in a row.
The Pacers shot just 36 percent (30-of-83) and have dropped four straight at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Denver blew a 12-point lead in the first half and trailed 67-62 midway through the third quarter before embarking on a 10-1 run to forge ahead. The Nuggets claimed a 70-68 edge on Earl Boykins' midrange jumper with 4:11 left in the frame, and another outside basket from Boykins on their next possession extended the margin to four.
Scot Pollard's tip-in with 2:50 to go in the third got Indiana within 73-72, but the Pacers would go without a field goal for more than six minutes afterward and Denver took advantage.
Nene's putback sent the Nuggets into the final quarter up 79-73 and the lead would reach 11 points when Russell sank a three-pointer to make the score 84-73 with 8:40 remaining.
Denver maintained a 10-point cushion with under four minutes remaining, but a 6-0 Pacers run ending when O'Neal made two free throws trimmed it to 89-85 with 1:35 to play. Martin then buried a jumper with under a minute left and Andre Miller hit a pair of foul shots with 28 seconds on the clock to seal it.
"I had it going tonight," Martin said. "I think it was just confidence in my shot. When I was open I felt like I was going to knock it down."
The Nuggets led 25-19 after one quarter, and after Indiana got it down to two on consecutive layups by Jackson and Tinsley to start the second, reeled off 10 straight points to move comfortably in front. Russell netted six points during the run, which ended with DeMarr Johnson's short hook that gave Denver a 35-23 advantage with 8:18 remaining in the half.
The Pacers cut the deficit to 39-34 on Jackson's three-pointer at the 4:43 mark of the second quarter, but the Nuggets scored six of the next seven points to push the lead back to double digits one minute later.
Two made free throws by Fred Jones brought Indiana within eight points at the break.
The Pacers then caught fire from the perimeter early in the third quarter, as back-to-back three-pointers from Jackson and Reggie Miller put the hosts down 59-57 less than four minutes in. After Martin made one of two from the line, O'Neal scored a pair of baskets to put Indiana up 60-59 with 7:41 remaining in the stanza.
Consecutive treys by Tinsley and Jackson ended a 16-3 run which gave the Pacers a 67-62 lead at the 6:11 mark of the third quarter.
"We had a little spurt in the third quarter that we thought would carry us, but it didn't," said Pacers guard Reggie Miller. "Any time you get down in double-digit points in this league, you are going to have a hard time digging yourself out of the hole."
The teams were tied 19-19 heading into the final minute of the first quarter, but consecutive buckets by Martin after Boykins hit two foul shots gave Denver a six-point edge at the conclusion of the period.
Reggie Miller's three-pointer in the third quarter was the 2,500th of his career. He is the NBA's all-time leader in that category and finished with 15 points...Denver had lost 15 of its last 16 trips to Indiana coming in...The Nuggets improved to 12-7 against Eastern Conference teams, while the Pacers fell to 6-11 versus the West...Jones left in the fourth quarter with a sore right knee, while teammate Anthony Johnson guard missed the game due to the flu...The Pacers have won five of the last seven meetings in the series.
01/29 23:42:36 ET