for this game

Anthony, Iverson lead Nuggets past new-look Timberwolves

Nov 3, 2007 - 5:08 AM By James Beilby PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- With Kevin Garnett in Boston, the new-look Minnesota Timberwolves used an entirely different starting lineup from a season ago. As a result, they could not hang on and win their 13th consecutive season opener.

Carmelo Anthony scored 22 of his 33 points in the second half as the Denver Nuggets rallied and pulled away from the Timberwolves for a 99-91 victory on Friday.

Camby had 14 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks and Allen Iverson added 24 points on just 4-of-14 shooting for the Nuggets, who are 2-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 season.

"I've said that we are going to win some games with defense," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "And tonight we had more focus on the defensive end and Marcus Camby was incredible."

Minnesota was playing without Garnett after a blockbuster seven-for-one megadeal with the Boston Celtics in the offseason stripped the Timberwolves of their franchise player but added a slew of young players.

Playing without their top three leading scorers from a season ago, the Timberwolves became the first team in four years to use a different starting five from the season before.

"It's a little different not seeing Garnett out there," Camby said. "But they're a youthful team and they play hard. They jumped out on us early, but we had enough veteran leadership to hold on down the stretch."

Trailing for most of the game, Denver took its first lead since there was 11:10 left in the first quarter when Camby knocked down a jump shot with 7:50 left in the game to give the Nuggets an 81-79 advantage.

After Rashad McCants made a 3-pointer to put Minnesota back in front, Anthony scored five points during a 11-2 spurt to give the Nuggets some breathing room at 92-84 with under 3:30 to play.

"In the second half, we buckled down and executed," Iverson said. "We can't come in and think that just because a team isn't a veteran team that we can overlook them. We've got to win the game regardless of whether it's ugly or not."

Minnesota used a strong 19-2 run to take a 13-point lead in the first quarter, which was highlighted by 11 points from McCants.

"I think we showed a lot a character tonight," Minnesota guard Sebastian Telfair said. "We're going to go out there and compete and try to get wins every night."

Denver tied the game three separate times in the third quarter, but the Timberwolves had maintained their three-point halftime lead with a 77-74 advantage after the third.

McCants netted 23 points and Al Jefferson had 16 and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who had not lost their home opener since the 1994-95 season - which was, ironically, the year before Garnett arrived.

"We didn't have the energy in the second half that we had in the first half of the game," Jefferson said. "You gotta start out the game big and end big. You gotta keep it going."

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