Martin Rallies Nuggets Past Bulls
Denver 97, Chicago 94
CHICAGO, Jan. 16 (Ticker) -- Much like his team, Kenyon Martin has struggled with injuries and inconsistency this season.
Martin had 22 points, 14 rebounds and several big plays down the stretch as the Denver Nuggets scrambled for a 97-94 victory over the slumping Chicago Bulls, who can't seem to win at home.
The Nuggets would not have won without the contributions of Martin, a former All-Star power forward who has been limited by knee tendinitis that has caused him to miss 11 games this season.
However, Martin registered his first 20-10 game of the season and came up big down the stretch with big plays on both ends.
"It was a good game for me," Martin said. "I was able to rebound better than I have been able to lately and more like the way I am capable of. My defense is there always. I was just able to play hard and the other guys played just as hard and helped us win."
The Nuggets trailed, 91-86, after a three-point play by Ben Gordon with 2:12 to play. Anthony made two free throws and Martin added one before Earl Watson gave Denver the lead for good at 92-91 with a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left.
Andres Nocioni missed a hook that Martin corraled, diving to the floor and calling timeout. On the next possession, he beat the shot clock by dribbling left and flipping in an underhanded bank shot with 15 seconds remaining.
"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Martin said. "The shot clock was running down and I just tried to get the ball to the basket and have it hit the rim so I could get an offensive rebound. I have made a lot of tough shots, but not like that. That one was incredible."
Nocioni, who leads the NBA in 3-point shooting, missed a shot from the arc. Anthony, who was 19-of-21 from the line, made three free throws around a 3-pointer by Gordon before Chris Duhon missed a half-court runner at the buzzer.
"It's disapointing when You find a away to battle back and have an opportunity to win late in the game," Duhon said. "Those things are tough on a player's confidence."
Watson scored 16 points and Andre Miller added 12 and nine assists for the Nuggets, who won for the fourth time in their last five games despite missing their first eight shots of the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Denver shot 14 free throws while Chicago shot zero.
"In the fourth quarter, the game became somewhat of a defensive game," Karl said. "If we were going to keep shooting with them we were going to get beat, so we started taking the ball to the basket."
"There is no question we have been fouling too much," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. "We have silly fouls, but then I see the other team fouling like that and not being called. (Anthony) shot 21 free throws. He almost doubled our whole team."
Chicago led by 18 points in the second quarter, 10 points at halftime and 84-77 with 8 1/2 minutes to play but still suffered its third straight loss.
"Right now it feels like we are finding ways to lose games," Hinrich said. "Whether it's by making to many mistakes or fouling too much, last year it seemed like we had a killer instinct this year we don't have it."
Hinrich scored 20 points and Darius Songaila added 15 for the Bulls, who shot 45 percent (37-of-82), including 10-of-22 from the arc, and held a 46-37 advantage on the glass.
"Kirk plays hard for us every night and almost never gets a call," Bulls center Othella Harrington said. "We beat them in every catagory. The game was over if they don't go to the free-throw line 41 times."