Anthony’s Jumper Lifts Nuggets Over Lakers
Denver 110, L.A. Lakers 108 (OT)
DENVER, April 6 (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony refused to let Kobe Bryant outdo him in his own building once again.
Anthony scored 33 points and made the go-ahead jumper in the waning seconds as the Denver Nuggets survived Bryant's 42 points to post a 110-108 overtime triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Once again booed virtually every time he touched the ball, Bryant enjoyed another fine performance as he set a franchise record with his 24th 40-point game of the season. But ultimately the hero was Anthony, who prevented his team from being swept in the season series.
"I live for stuff like that," Anthony said. "I'm just trying to get the ball the last couple of seconds. Whether I make it or I miss it, I'd rather put that pressure on me. The only thing I have to do is shoot the ball."
"He steps up and makes big shots," Bryant said. "He understands how to clear himself and elevate over guys and get a shot."
With 57 seconds remaining in overtime, Luke Walton hit a layup to put the visitors ahead, 108-107. Denver's Andre Miller split a pair a foul shots to even the score 14 ticks later.
Bryant missed a jumper on the other end and Walton misfired on a jumper before Bryant's follow shot rolled out.
Marcus Camby corralled the rebound and passed to Anthony, who dribbled the length of the floor and nailed a jumper from the left elbow with 3.8 seconds left.
"It was a huge shot," Denver coach George Karl said. "I'm glad he made it. It seems like he has a cockiness and confidence to make shots."
"This is a confidence booster for us," Anthony added. "We let one slip out of our hands against the Clippers the other night. Hopefully we can play like this for the last couple of games down the stretch."
Even after a pair of timeouts, the Lakers still could not inbound the ball to Bryant, who was smothered by Ruben Patterson.
Walton instead found Kwame Brown, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Brown returned the pass to Walton, who missed a 3-pointer from the corner as time expired.
"Teams are going to double- or triple-team Kobe at the end," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "So he's not going to get the ball and someone else is going to have to step up and make shots."
Anthony made 12-of-30 shots and Francisco Elson scored a career-high 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Bryant hit 13-of-32 shots from the field and 13-of-14 from the line. Lamar Odom added 16 points before fouling out.
After falling behind, 90-77, in the final quarter, Los Angeles put together an 18-6 run to pull within 96-95 with 2:55 remaining. Greg Buckner hit a 3-pointer 16 seconds later to push the bulge back to four, but Bryant responded with a four-point play to even the score at 99-99 with 1:14 left.
Neither team scored the rest of the period. With a chance to win the game in regulation, the Nuggets suffered a shot-clock violation. Bryant's difficult jumper rimmed off at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
"I'm proud of us," Bryant said. "We came back and played hard. We got into a big hole in the first quarter but we were able to fight back. Late in the fourth quarter, we were able to make a push and give ourselves an opportunity to win the game. Both teams played hard, it's a shame somebody had to lose."