Thursday , Mar , 25 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Nuggets grab critical win over Minnesota

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Carmelo Anthony poured in a game-high 25 points
and Earl Boykins chipped in 21 to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 101-92 win over
Minnesota at the Pepsi Center.

Nene added 11 points for the Nuggets, who snapped an eight-game losing streak
to Minnesota. Jon Barry and Rodney White each netted 10 points in the winning

The win, coupled with Utah’s loss to Seattle, moved Denver into eighth place
in the Western Conference by a half game over the Jazz.

The Nuggets were without the services of center Marcus Camby (groin) and
forward Ryan Bowen (back), while guard Voshon Lenard left in the second half
with an undisclosed injury.

Chris Andersen made his return from the injured list and scored five points
and pulled down nine rebounds. Andersen had been on the IL since March 12 with
tendinitis in his left patella.

“This was a gutsy win,” Denver head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “We got great
contributions from a lot of people. This team has done a wonderful job this

Kevin Garnett posted a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, as the
Timberwolves saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Fred Hoiberg
and Wally Szczerbiak both came off the bench to score 17 and 14 points,

Despite the loss, Minnesota remained within two games of Sacramento for the
top spot in the Western Conference. The Kings suffered a humbling loss at the
hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Mark Madsen hit a 10-foot baseline jumper with 6:48 remaining in the game to
bring the Timberwolves within 85-83. But the Nuggets countered with an 8-2 run
over the next four minutes, sparked by a pair of Anthony free throws, to widen
their advantage to 93-85.

Minnesota chipped away at the deficit and eventually got it to three at 95-92
on a Garnett three with 55 seconds remaining.

However, that was the closest the Timberwolves would get as Andre Miller and
White combined to go 6-of-6 from the foul line in the last 50 seconds to seal
the win.

Denver notched its third straight home victory after losing the previous

“Don’t know how we did it but we did it,” Anthony said. “This was the biggest
game of the year and our backs were against the wall.”

The first quarter was tightly contested until Boykins drained a pair of threes
in the final minute of the frame to stake Denver to a 26-19 lead after one.

The Nuggets went up 31-23 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter on a Nene foul
line jumper. But Denver responded by going on a 12-4 spurt to tie it at 35
apiece with 5:45 remaining until halftime.

Both teams traded baskets the rest of the half before Anthony and Boykins each
hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to put the Nuggets on top,
53-47, at the intermission.

Denver led 66-57 with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter on Boykins’ jumper
from the elbow. The Nuggets couldn’t capitalize on the nine-point advantage
and Minnesota answered on a 12-3 run, capped by back-to-back threes from
Hoiberg, to tie it at 69-69 with 1:26 left in the frame.

However, White and Boykins made consecutive baskets in the final minute to
give Denver a 73-69 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets won their second straight overall after losing the last three.