Thursday , Jan , 19 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Anthony and Boykins lead Denver in nail-biter past Cleveland

=== Anthony and Boykins lead Denver in nail-biter past Cleveland ===

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.

Game Notes

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.

CLE DEN