DENVER (AP) -- This felt like playoff basketball -- fitting for
two teams that are fighting for a spot in the postseason.
Andre Miller hit a 16-foot jumper with 36 seconds left and
Anthony added two free throws in the final second to lift the
Nuggets to an 86-83 win over Memphis on Monday night, snapping the
Grizzlies' four-game winning streak.
Two of the NBA's most improved teams, Memphis and Denver
remained in seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Western
"When two teams are desperately trying to win as many games as
possible, it's not going to be artistic," Denver coach Jeff
Bzdelik said. "We're tired, we're short-handed, we're banged up,
but we fought through it."
Miller and Anthony each scored 20 points, and Anthony pulled
down 11 rebounds.
Anthony, 19, became the third-youngest player in NBA history to score 1,000 points.
Nene had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the
The Grizzlies lost for the 13th straight time in Denver.
Denver was outshot 45 percent to 39 percent, but made 15 of 20
free throws compared to Memphis' 6-for-10.
Memphis coach Hubie Brown was upset with his team's 19 turnovers
-- including 12 in the second half -- and with the officiating.
"We are not happy with the turnovers," Brown said. "It was
extremely difficult for us to run our offense in the second half,
especially down the stretch, when guys are holding you and knocking
guys to the floor and there are no calls being made. It isn't like
a blind man couldn't have seen what went on here."
Battier's three-point play triggered a 7-0 run that gave the
Grizzlies a 75-72 lead early in the fourth quarter. Denver scored
the next six points, including Anthony's rebound layup, and
Memphis' Jason Williams hit a 3-pointer to tie it 78-all.
Miller's layup put Denver ahead. After Battier made a free
throw, Gasol hit a baseline jumper for an 81-80 lead with 2:26
Rodney White's jumper gave the Nuggets an 82-81 lead, and Miller
beat the shot clock with his jumper for an 84-81 lead.
Battier drove the baseline for a slam dunk with 33 seconds left.
After Miller missed, Gasol lost the ball in the lane to Anthony and
fouled him. Anthony hit both free throws with 0.8 seconds left.
Memphis' Earl Watson then missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Nuggets were without starting center Marcus Camby, sidelined
by a strained left hamstring he sustained Sunday night in
Neither team led by more than four points in a first quarter
that saw Denver shoot 52 percent and Memphis 50.
Lorenzen Wright hit back-to-back baskets during Memphis' 7-2 run
that produced a 19-16 lead. But the Nuggets outscored the Grizzlies
9-4 the rest of the period, including a 3-pointer by White, for a
Battier scored six points as the Grizzlies used a 10-2 flurry to
open the second quarter. Gasol's basket on a goaltending call
against Denver's Francisco Elson gave the Grizzlies their biggest
But Anthony hit a 3-pointer and a fast-break slam dunk, and
Nene's layup on a pass from Anthony helped produce a 44-44 tie with
2:43 left. The half ended 49-49.
Nene had eight points in the quarter to help Denver overcome 33
Gasol scored three baskets early in the third quarter as Memphis
took a five-point lead. Denver countered with an 8-0 run, including
Chris Andersen's three-point play and Earl Boykins' 3-pointer, and
the Nuggets led 70-68 entering the final period.
Memphis reserve guard Bonzi Wells injured his right knee
late in the first quarter and did not return. ... Denver guard Jon
Barry strained his right rotator cuff in the third quarter and did
not return. He was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday. ... Memphis
starting guard Mike Miller played only three minutes of the second
half after apparently experiencing back spasms. ... Anthony has
scored 20 or more points in six straight games.
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