Anthony Leads Nuggets To Seventh Straight
Denver 97, Portland 94
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 25 (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets needed Carmelo Anthony and Andre Miller to lead separate runs to help the club extend its winning streak.
Anthony scored 10 of his 26 points in a third-quarter push and Miller had 17 in the final period as the Nuggets extended their season-best winning streak to seven games with a 97-94 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers.
"Coming in here and starting the way we did, we had to try and finish hard," Anthony said. "We had confidence and when you have confidence you can get a lot of things done out there on the court."
However, Trail Blazers reserves Ruben Patterson, Travis Outlaw and rookie Jarrett Jack scored four points apiece in a 14-3 burst that gave the hosts an 85-74 lead with 8:03 remaining.
The Nuggets answered back with a 16-4 surge that was capped by a pair of free throws by Miller to give Denver its first lead, 90-89, with 2:39 to go.
"We had a lot of opportunities to say that it wasn't our night and quit," Denver coach George Karl said. "We'd get down 10 or 11 points, then make a run, then go back down 10 or 11. Andre had one of those special quarters. He just kind of had the face that he wasn't going to lose the game."
"(Miller) went to the basket five straight times and nobody touched him," said Patterson, who scored 15 points. "Ain't nobody hit him, ain't nobody rotating. That's just not good basketball."
Dixon, who scored 17 points, answered with a 3-pointer and long jumper, but Miller responded each time with a driving layup. Greg Buckner broke the 94-94 deadlock with a shot from the arc with 1:13 remaining.
"Bad defense and easy baskets," Miller said. "I was just trying to get to the basket, get fouled or make a play for someone else. But there were seams I got inside of. The bigger guys normally come over to try and get a block, but it was basically wide-open layups."
"No defense at all on Miller in the fourth quarter," said Blazers coach Nate McMillan, whose team fell to 4-3 on its season-high eight-game homestand. "Not only did our on-the-ball defense break down, but we got no help from the weak side. In fact, our weak side defensive help was non-existent."
Portland tried to answer but was denied. Patterson missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.
"We just wanted them to take some tough shots," Miller said. "We knew that they were a team that will let you back in the game. Juan Dixon made some tough shots down the stretch, but for the most part we kept everyone in check."
Portland shot 58 percent (25-of-43) and took an 56-47 lead into intermission.
"You can't take anything away from the way they played in the first half," Anthony said. "Whenever you shoot 60 percent in a half, it's pretty hard to stop a team."
Denver has won five straight from Portland.