NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Denver
(Wednesday, January 18th)
Final Score: Denver 90, Cleveland 89
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony and Earl Boykins each scored 17 points as the Denver Nuggets held off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 90-89, at the Pepsi Center.
Kenyon Martin and Eduardo Najera each added 16 points for the Nuggets, who won their third straight game. Martin also added a season-high 17 rebounds, 10 in the fourth quarter, while Najera had 12 boards.
Andre Miller donated 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win.
"Defensively, we were good enough to win and it seems like our karma has changed and we are winning games," Denver head coach George Karl said.
LeBron James netted 24 points with 11 boards and nine assists, but missed some key free throws down the stretch as Cleveland lost its fifth game in a row. Alan Henderson chipped in with a season-high 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 16 points and seven boards.
"It was a hell of an effort by our guys after the first quarter tonight," said Cleveland head coach Mike Brown. "We've got to do a better job of boxing out when the shot goes up. Everybody gets taught to box out from the first grade on and we did not box out."
Overall, Cleveland shot only 57.1 percent (20-of-35) from the free throw line to Denver's 80 percent (24-of-30).
"The whole game, my focus was to stop Lebron from getting 30 (points)," said Anthony on his matchup with James.
A free throw by Martin tied the contest at 82-82 with 3:21 remaining in the fourth and Cleveland's Aleksandar Pavlovic and Martin exchanged buckets for an 84-84 game.
A dunk by James put Cleveland ahead 86-84 with 1:20 to play, but a three- pointer by Boykins from the right side put Denver ahead 87-86 with 33 seconds left.
James hit only 1-of-2 shots from the charity strip to tie the contest at 87-87 and Anthony responded with a dunk to put Denver up two with 21 seconds remaining.
"Regardless of who they sent at me, I was going to the hole," said Anthony. "We won the game, that's the only thing I'm happy about."
Pavlovic was fouled with 11 seconds, but he missed both free throws. The Cavs' Eric Snow, though, got the ball back and found James, who sent a pass to Pavlovic. However, Pavlovic lost the ball as he drove to the hoop.
Najera was fouled, but converted only 1-of-2 free throws for a 90-87 lead with four seconds remaining. The Cavaliers called a timeout and threw the ensuing inbounds pass to James, who was fouled before getting a shot off.
James hit the first free throw and then missed the second one on purpose. Nobody boxed James out and the guard grabbed his own rebound with .6 seconds left and was fouled again.
James connected on the first free shot, but his second attempt failed and Henderson could not connect with a tip-in.
In the first, Denver exploded with a 16-1 run to close out the frame ahead 28-14. However, the Cavaliers got their offense going in the second quarter to close to within 48-43 going into halftime.
In the third, Cleveland used an early run to take a lead before Denver battled back as the Nuggets led 71-70 after a jumper by Najera as time expired in the third.
Snow finished with six points and seven assists...Pavlovic ended with nine...James hit only 8-of-15 free throws...Martin was only 3-of-16 from the field, but hit 10-of-12 free throws...Cleveland shot 41.6 percent from the floor to Denver's 38.8 percent...The Nuggets have won five of their last six overall and has won four of their last five at home...The two teams split their season series at one game apiece.
01/19 00:43:39 ET