Patterson Helps Lead Nuggets Past Magic
Denver 110, Orlando 94
DENVER, March 4 (Ticker) -- Ruben Patterson finally created some chaos for the Denver Nuggets.
Patterson scored 21 points in his best effort for his new team as the Nuggets posted a 110-94 victory over the Orlando Magic, who continued to struggle on the road.
"I was a little frustrated with the way I played last night," Patterson said. "I played bad but I stepped it up tonight."
Patterson looked much better Saturday, making 9-of-12 shots while handing out eight assists and also grabbing five rebounds.
"Both Earl (Boykins) and I knew we needed a good effort tonight," Patterson said. "Each and every game we know someone is going to step up for us. The difference was we came out from the start and played defense. We ran and got a lot of dunks and layups. This was an important win for us."
Carmelo Anthony also got going after a quiet first half for the Nuggets, who took control of the game over the final two periods.
Anthony scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter, when the Nuggets turned a four-point lead into an 82-73 advantage entering the final period.
"Tonight we spread the wealth," Anthony said. "As a result, we won the game. Earl (Boykins) came up big for us tonight. He came out of his shell."
In the fourth quarter, the Nuggets pulled away thanks to the big play of 5-5 point guard Earl Boykins, who made 5-of-7 shots and scored 12 of his 21 points in the period.
Marcus Camby added 16 points and recently acquired Reggie Evans had 12 and 10 rebounds for Denver, which shot 56.5 percent (48-of-85) and held a 41-26 cushion on the boards.
"I thought we played sluggish and tired all night," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "Our energy wasn't there. I can't give you the answer. In that third quarter we didn't get any stops at all."
Grant Hill returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game at Phoenix with a sports hernia to score 19 points for the Magic, who lost their 10th straight road game.
Dwight Howard chipped in 15 points and 11 rebounds and Jameer Nelson had 10 and 10 assists for Orlando, which committed 17 turnovers and went just 1-of-8 from the arc.
"They set the tone and established the style of play," Nelson said. "We turned the ball over too many times and our execution wasn't there. We've just got to keep working and fight through this."