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Anthony, Nuggets stop Mavericks quest for 70 wins

Apr 7, 2007 - 7:55 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony decided to put the Denver Nuggets on his shoulders.

Anthony scored 23 points as the Nuggets posted a 75-71 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, preventing them from reaching the 70-win mark this season.

Allen Iverson had 22 points and Nene added 16 and 10 rebounds for Denver (39-36), which remains just one-half game behind the Los Angeles Lakers (40-36) for sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race. The Lakers beat the Seattle Supersonics, 112-109, on Friday.

The Mavericks (62-13), who saw All-Star forward Josh Howard leave in the first quarter with an ankle sprain, failed in their attempt to match the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to reach the 70-win mark in NBA history.

"We're not really worried about 70 wins," Stackhouse said. "We're just focused on finishing out the season strong and getting guys some rest. We'll be fresh once the playoffs roll around."

After Dallas All-Star Dirk Nowitzki made two free throws with 1:51 left to tie the game at 71-71, Anthony converted an ally-oop pass from Marcus Camby to give Denver a two-point lead with 1:17 remaining.

On the Mavericks' next possesion, Anthony made a steal with 33 seconds left, and after Camby missed a jumper from the left corner and Nene rebounded the miss, the forward made two free throws to give the Nuggets a 75-71 edge with 9.2 second to play.

"We're going to fight every night regardless of who we are playing," Anthony said. "Like I told you earlier, they put their uniforms and sneakers on just like we do."

Dallas's Jerry Stackhouse missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left, sealing Denver's fourth straight victory.

"We weren't very good offensively all night," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson. "But at the same time, if you can come on the road and the Nuggets only score 75, you hope that you can win that game because they don't do that very often."

Nowitzki finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who failed to score at least 90 points for the first time in 22 games.

"We just concentrated on our defensive assignments and we executed," Iverson said. "It's hard to keep a team like that from scoring. Obviously they are the best team in the league right now. We just did a solid job on them all around the board."

Jason Terry had 13 points and Erick Dampier added 11 and 13 rebounds for Dallas, which lost to Denver for the first time in four meetings this season.

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