Friday , Apr , 07 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Carmelo’s late basket lifts Nuggets past Lakers in OT

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Carmelo Anthony used a cross-over dribble to
shake free from his defender and drained a mid-range jumper with 3.8 seconds
remaining in overtime, as Denver outlasted the Los Angeles Lakers, 110-108, at
the Pepsi Center.

Anthony scored 33 points and dished out five assists while Francisco Elson
tallied a career-high 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for Denver, which
snapped a two-game losing skid. Denver’s magic number to clinch the Northwest
Division title is two.

Elson picked up the slack for injured forward Kenyon Martin, who missed the
contest with a left knee injury.

Andre Miller added 15 points and Greg Buckner donated 12 points in the
victory. Marcus Camby posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 42 points and grabbed eight rebounds while
Lamar Odom sprang for 16 points and Kwame Brown contributed 15 points and 13
rebounds, as the Lakers saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.

“We dug ourselves a hole,” said Odom. “We can’t afford to go 18 down and
expect to win.”

With the loss, Los Angeles sits just one game ahead of Sacramento for seventh
place in the Western Conference. The Lakers are 3 1/2 games behind Memphis for
sixth position in the playoff picture.

The Lakers finally came all the way back to force a tie at 99-99 after some
magic from Bryant. With the shot clock winding down, Bryant rose above
Buckner, who was chest-to-chest with the LA star, and drained a three while
being fouled. The subsequent free throw squared the contest with 1:14 to play.

Each team had a chance to win in the final 20 seconds. The Lakers denied
Anthony from touching the ball and Buckner missed a contested shot with just
over one tick left. The Lakers rebounded the ball and called timeout, but
Bryant’s off-balance jumper from the right corner hit off the side of the rim
as time expired.

Bryant’s turnaround jumper started the extra session, however Anthony drained
three free throws to push the Nuggets in front, 102-101. Devean George and
Anthony then exchanged baskets, with the Syracuse product’s jumper again
handing Denver a one-point lead, 104-103.

Ruben Patterson made two free throws, however the game again drew even at
106-106 after Odom buried a step-back three with 1:43 left.

Miller made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe then Brown found Luke Walton alone
underneath the rim for an easy layup to put the Lakers up 108-107. The
Nuggets’ point guard again made 1-of-2 from the stripe to square the game at
108-108.

LA had several chances to seize the lead on the other end, but Bryant missed a
baseline jumper off the side of the backboard, Walton missed a jumper and
Bryant missed the flying tip-in attempt. Denver pushed the ball up the floor
and Anthony shook his defender and connected on a jumper with 3.8 seconds
on the clock.

“It seems like he has a cockiness and confidence to take and make them,” said
Denver head coach George Karl of Anthony’s late-game heroics.

The Lakers called timeout, but Patterson denied Bryant the ball and Walton’s
corner three to win at the buzzer clanked off the side of the rim. Patterson
also helped on the offensive end, scoring nine points and pulling down five
rebounds.

Denver took a 39-23 lead into the second quarter, but the Lakers slowly worked
their way back into the contest. Bryant’s emphatic slam capped six straight LA
points, cutting the deficit to 49-47 with 2:04 remaining in the half.

The Nuggets outscored the Lakers 9-2 the rest of the way to extend their
advantage to 58-49. Anthony scored four straight points from in close to cap
the first-half scoring.

Game Notes

Los Angeles fell to 18-22 on the road…Denver improved to 25-13 at the Pepsi
Center…Walton scored 12 points, grabbed seven boards and dished out six
assists in the loss…The Lakers won the season series, 2-1.

DEN LAL