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Archive for Monday, April 23, 2007

Iverson, Anthony spark Nuggets

Suns sink Lakers; James sprains ankle in Cavaliers’ victory

April 23, 2007

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— The Denver Nuggets have been here before, and this time around, they're not going to get too excited about it.

In 2005 the Nuggets beat the Spurs in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs on the road before losing the next four to a San Antonio team that went on to win the NBA championship.

Denver forward Carmelo Anthony (15) grabs a rebound in front of San Antonio Spurs center Francisco Elson as Nuggets center Marcus Camby looks on. The Nuggets won, 95-89, Sunday in San Antonio.

Denver forward Carmelo Anthony (15) grabs a rebound in front of San Antonio Spurs center Francisco Elson as Nuggets center Marcus Camby looks on. The Nuggets won, 95-89, Sunday in San Antonio.

The Nuggets did it again Sunday night, beating the Spurs, 95-89, in the first game of their Western Conference playoff series with Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony leading the way.

"The guys who were here two years ago know we were in the same situation last time," Denver center Marcus Camby said. "They ran off and won four straight. That's why no one is really happy. We came out to get Game 1 but we also want to get Game 2."

If Iverson and Anthony play this well again, the Nuggets have a good shot. Anthony scored 30 points and Iverson added 31, including 29 after a sluggish first quarter.

"Two years ago we probably were just happy to be in the playoffs," Anthony said. "Now we ain't just happy to be in the playoffs. We know we're a good team and when we play good we can play with the best of them."

And the Nuggets played tough defense, too, which is not usually their forte.

"They stopped us, doing the things we wanted to do and we couldn't stop their two stars," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "That's really the bottom line. Their defense outplayed us."

Nene added 13 points and 12 rebounds and Marcus Camby grabbed 10 boards for sixth-seeded Denver, which entered the playoffs having won 10 of 11. The big guys also made things difficult for Tim Duncan, who scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds for the Spurs.

Tony Parker led third-seeded San Antonio with 19 points, followed by Michael Finley with 15 and Robert Horry with 14.

The Spurs' Manu Ginobili isn't putting much stock in the 2005 series, either.

"I still hate it. It's not that I'm going to get confident because I've done it before," he said. "We are very upset. We really wanted to take this one home and we didn't."

Game 2 is Wednesday in San Antonio.

DENVER (95)

Anthony 10-18 8-8 30, Nene 5-12 3-5 13, Camby 4-9 0-0 8, Iverson 11-22 8-8 31, Blake 3-6 0-0 7, Kleiza 0-5 1-2 1, Najera 1-2 1-2 3, Smith 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 35-77 21-25 95.

SAN ANTONIO (89)

Bowen 2-3 0-0 5, Duncan 7-17 0-2 14, Elson 0-1 0-0 0, Finley 6-13 0-0 15, Parker 8-20 3-4 19, Ginobili 4-15 0-0 9, Horry 5-10 2-2 14, Barry 1-3 0-0 3, Vaughn 0-1 2-2 2, Oberto 4-4 0-0 8, Bonner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 37-88 7-10 89.

Denver21232328-95

San Antonio16262423-89

3-Point Goals-Denver 4-13 (Anthony 2-4, Blake 1-2, Iverson 1-3, Kleiza 0-2, Smith 0-2), San Antonio 8-24 (Finley 3-7, Horry 2-5, Bowen 1-2, Barry 1-3, Ginobili 1-5, Parker 0-1, Bonner 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Denver 53 (Nene 12), San Antonio 47 (Duncan 10). Assists-Denver 13 (Iverson 5), San Antonio 22 (Parker 8). Total Fouls-Denver 13, San Antonio 20. A-18,797 (18,797).

Suns 95, Lakers 87

Phoenix - Leandro Barbosa scored 19 points in the second half to spark Phoenix's comeback and Kobe Bryant went from awesome to awful.

The result for the Suns was a victory over the Lakers in their first-round playoff opener.

Barbosa finished with 26 points, including 15 consecutive for Phoenix in one stretch, to match his career playoff scoring high. Amare Stoudemire, back in the postseason after missing last year's while recovering from two knee surgeries, added 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Bryant scored 39, but only 11 in the second half. The NBA's scoring champ was 1-for-10 shooting in the fourth quarter, when Phoenix pulled away.

L.A. LAKERS (87)

Odom 8-16 1-2 17, Walton 5-8 0-0 10, Brown 2-6 0-0 4, Bryant 15-33 5-7 39, Farmar 4-9 0-0 9, Bynum 3-4 0-2 6, Evans 0-3 0-0 0, Parker 0-1 0-0 0, Vujacic 1-2 0-0 2, Turiaf 0-1 0-0 0, Cook 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 38-84 6-11 87.

PHOENIX (95)

Ja.Jones 1-3 1-2 3, Marion 6-13 2-3 16, Stoudemire 9-16 5-6 23, Bell 1-6 0-0 2, Nash 7-17 4-4 20, Diaw 2-7 1-2 5, Barbosa 10-22 4-7 26, Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-84 17-24 95.

L.A. Lakers23252910-87

Phoenix18213521-95

3-Point Goals-L.A. Lakers 5-16 (Bryant 4-8, Farmar 1-4, Odom 0-1, Vujacic 0-1, Evans 0-2), Phoenix 6-23 (Marion 2-4, Nash 2-4, Barbosa 2-7, Diaw 0-1, Ja.Jones 0-2, Bell 0-5). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-L.A. Lakers 54 (Odom 16), Phoenix 52 (Marion 16). Assists-L.A. Lakers 13 (Walton 6), Phoenix 18 (Nash 10). Total Fouls-L.A. Lakers 23, Phoenix 11. A-18,422 (18,422).

Cavaliers 97, Wizards 82

Cleveland - LeBron James stayed in the game despite a sprained ankle and scored 23 points, Larry Hughes added 27, and Cleveland beat injury-depleted Washington in Game 1 of their series.

James rolled his left ankle in the third quarter but refused to come out, adding nine rebounds and seven assists in 44 minutes.

The Cavs figured to blow through their second straight first-round matchup with the Wizards, who were missing All-Stars Gilbert Arenas (knee surgery) and Caron Butler (broken hand).

WASHINGTON (82)

Hayes 6-15 4-5 18, Jamison 10-27 7-11 28, Thomas 1-4 0-0 2, Stevenson 3-12 1-2 9, Daniels 3-7 3-4 9, Haywood 0-1 0-0 0, Songaila 3-5 2-2 8, Blatche 1-2 0-0 2, Ruffin 0-1 0-0 0, Mason 2-3 1-1 6, Taylor 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-79 18-25 82.

CLEVELAND (97)

James 7-14 9-11 23, Gooden 5-10 0-0 10, Ilgauskas 4-7 8-10 16, Pavlovic 3-9 2-2 9, Hughes 9-17 8-8 27, Varejao 1-5 3-8 5, Snow 2-5 0-0 4, Newble 0-1 0-0 0, Marshall 1-3 0-0 3, Gibson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-72 30-39 97.

Washington20212615-82

Cleveland27212623-97

3-Point Goals-Washington 6-19 (Stevenson 2-4, Hayes 2-5, Mason 1-1, Jamison 1-6, Songaila 0-1, Daniels 0-2), Cleveland 3-14 (Pavlovic 1-2, Marshall 1-3, Hughes 1-4, Newble 0-1, Snow 0-1, Varejao 0-1, James 0-2). Fouled Out-Songaila. Rebounds-Washington 46 (Jamison 14), Cleveland 60 (Varejao 10). Assists-Washington 17 (Daniels 11), Cleveland 16 (James 7). Total Fouls-Washington 25, Cleveland 21. A-20,562 (20,562).

Warriors 97, Mavericks 85

Dallas - Don Nelson's wacky ways still win playoff games in Dallas - even though he's now coaching the Golden State Warriors.

Baron Davis scored 19 of his 33 points in the third quarter, carrying Nellie's small-ball lineup to victory over the Mavericks in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.

An eighth seed beating a top seed, especially one that won 67 regular-season games, normally would be a stunner. But this was Golden State's sixth straight win over Dallas.

GOLDEN STATE (97)

Jackson 9-18 2-2 23, Richardson 5-12 2-4 13, Harrington 3-14 1-2 7, Ellis 2-7 3-4 7, Davis 11-20 7-8 33, Barnes 3-4 2-2 10, Pietrus 1-5 0-0 2, Biedrins 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 35-81 17-22 97.

DALLAS (85)

Howard 8-21 2-2 21, George 3-8 2-2 10, Nowitzki 4-16 6-8 14, Terry 6-14 4-5 17, Dev.Harris 8-18 3-4 19, Stackhouse 0-6 0-0 0, Buckner 0-0 0-0 0, Diop 1-2 2-4 4, Dampier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-85 19-25 85.

Golden State23153425-97

Dallas17212819-85

3-Point Goals-Golden State 10-30 (Davis 4-7, Jackson 3-7, Barnes 2-3, Richardson 1-7, Pietrus 0-3, Harrington 0-3), Dallas 6-19 (Howard 3-4, George 2-5, Terry 1-4, Dev.Harris 0-2, Nowitzki 0-2, Stackhouse 0-2). Rebounds-Golden State 54 (Davis 14), Dallas 58 (Howard 13). Assists-Golden State 16 (Davis 8), Dallas 16 (Nowitzki 4). Total Fouls-Golden State 22, Dallas 18. A-20,732 (19,200).

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