Anthony outduels LeBron to lead Nuggets over Cleveland
Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Carmelo Anthony poured in a game-high 26
points as the Denver Nuggets outlasted the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-103, at
the Pepsi Center. Anthony scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half,
rebounding from a poor start where he hit just 1-of-5 shots in the opening
LeBron James, who was drafted No. 1 overall in this past year’s draft,
finished with 19 points on just 6-of-19 shooting for the Cavaliers. However,
the second matchup of the LeBron vs. Carmelo saga ended with the same result
as the first meeting between the two young superstars. Anthony was selected
third by the Nuggets in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Denver had a total of five players score in double digits, as Nene scored 21
points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Andre Miller chipped in with 14 points and
dished out nine assists for the Nuggets, who at 11-6 are off to their best
start since 1989-1990.
Denver has now won four straight, while Cleveland has dropped seven
Voshon Lenard added 13 points and Jon Barry provided a spark off the bench
with 14 for Denver, which improved to 8-1 at home.
While the Nuggets are enjoying home cooking, the Cavs’ road woes continued
with their 32nd straight loss as the visitor. Six different Cleveland players
scored in double digits with Ricky Davis contributing 17 points and Carlos
Boozer adding 13.
Darius Miles and Zydrunas Ilgauskas each posted double-doubles. Miles had 10
boards to go along with his 11 points, while Ilgauskas added 14 points and
hauled down 13 rebounds.
Anthony, though, was too much, as he sparked a 10-0 run that put the Nuggets
up 92-81 midway through the fourth.
Later in the quarter, Anthony answered a James three-pointer with a tip-in and
moments later, Anthony stole a pass and found Barry open in the lane for a
scoop lay-up that made the score 102-93 in favor of Denver with just under
five minutes left.
Cleveland then tried to make it interesting down the stretch.
Carlos Boozer’s jumper made it a six-point Nuggets lead with under two minutes
left. Boozer was then called for goaltending on an Anthony jumper and the lead
was back to eight points.
Denver iced it on its next two possessions, as Earl Boykins first slipped down
the lane and scored on a soft layup before he banked a shot off the glass for
a sizeable 12-point lead as the clock ticked down to under a minute left in
All of Boykins’ eight points came in the final quarter. His six-foot jumper
with 1:01 left iced the game as it gave the Nuggets a commanding 12-point
lead. Boykins also handed out eight assists.
Chris Anderson came off the bench along with Boykins and added nine points
and seven rebounds.
A Davis slam gave Cleveland an early 11-2 lead with 9:42 left in the
first quarter. The Nuggets than outscored the Cavs 30-15 to close out the
quarter and take a 32-26 lead, as Denver took advantage of Cleveland’s poor
shooting down the stretch. The Cavaliers scored only two points in the final
3:25 of the quarter.
In the second stanza, Denver pushed its lead to eight points at 38-30 with
10:27 left in the half. The Cavs came right back with an impressive 24-7 run
to take a commanding 54-45 lead with 4:04 left before halftime.
Cleveland eventually went into the locker room with a 60-56 lead.
The third quarter saw Denver take the lead at 70-67 on a Francisco Elson dunk
with 5:41 left. The Cavs went into the final quarter trailing 82-76.