Sunday , Apr , 25 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Nuggets come up golden at home to get back into series

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Rookie phenom Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points
and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets throttled the Minnesota
Timberwolves, 107-86, in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal
series at the Pepsi Center.

Andre Miller had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the eight-
seeded Nuggets, who will look to even the best-of-seven series at two games
apiece when the two teams meet again in Denver for Game 4 on Tuesday.

Marcus Camby added 12 points and 16 rebounds in the win.

The Nuggets opened the game with a 25-8 run and never trailed, leading by as
many as 23 points in the contest.

It was the first NBA playoff game ever played at the Pepsi Center and the
first postseason game for the Nuggets at home since May 2, 1995, when they
played at McNichols Arena.

Latrell Sprewell scored 25 points and Kevin Garnett collected 24 points and 11
rebounds for the top-seeded Timberwolves, who are trying to win a first-round
series for the first time in franchise history.

Minnesota also saw its 11-game win streak, dating back to the regular season,
come to an end.

Denver is hoping to see history repeat itself. As the eighth seed in 1994, the
Nuggets came back from a 2-0 series deficit to defeat the top-seeded Seattle
SuperSonics in five games.

“Our goal tonight was to compete. Compete with passion and togetherness,” said
Nuggets head coach Jeff Bzdelik. “This series is 2-1 Minnesota. We still have
our work cut out for us.”

A dunk by Camby with 2:30 left in the first quarter gave the Nuggets a 25-8
lead and they went into the second with a 30-18 advantage.

Minnesota pulled to within 10 at 38-28 on a basket by Sam Cassell midway
through the second. Denver led by just 11 in the final seconds of the second
quarter before Francisco Elson nailed a jumper at the buzzer to make it a
54-41 contest at halftime.

A jumper by Sprewell cut the Nuggets’ lead to 61-54 with 8:43 left in the
third and the Timberwolves trailed by eight at 67-59 before Denver used an
11-0 run to build a 19-point advantage. A Voshon Lenard three-pointer with
3:12 remaining in the frame capped the spurt and put the Nuggets up 78-59.

Things were going so well for Denver that Camby, who went 0-of-2 from three-
point range during the regular season, buried a shot from beyond the arc with
the shot clock winding down to make it an 81-62 game with 2:10 left in the

The Nuggets maintained a double-digit lead throughout the fourth and went up
by as many as 23 points, the last time coming on a jumper by Ryan Bowen that
made it 107-84 with 25 seconds to play.

“The game was fun tonight,” said Anthony. “When I’m out there having fun, I
play my best.”

Nene netted 14 points and Earl Boykins chipped in 10 for Denver, which shot 47
percent (45-of-95) from the field, including 5-for-11 from three-point range.
The Nuggets were 12-for-16 from the free throw line.

Wally Szczerbiak had 11 points and Cassell added 10 for the Timberwolves, who
shot 42 percent (32-of-77) from the floor and went 8-for-20 from beyond the
arc. Minnesota was 14-of-21 from the foul line.

The Nuggets outrebounded the Timberwolves, 53-36.

“Denver beat us fair and square and we need to make adjustments,” said
Garnett. “It’s still 2-1. We have a chance to make some beautiful things