Anthony's big fourth leads Nuggets past HornetsDec 13, 2007 - 5:58 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson deferred to Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter. It couldn't have worked out better for the Denver Nuggets.
Anthony scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and Iverson added 22 and 11 assists as the Nuggets held off the red-hot New Orleans Hornets with a 105-99 victory at Pepsi Center on Wednesday night.
Marcus Camby scored 14 points, including a crucial putback in the final minutes, and grabbed 15 rebounds for Denver, which outscored New Orleans, 28-18, in the final period to secure the victory.
Anthony netted 12 of his team's final 14 points, including a three-point play in transition to make it 104-99 with 38.4 seconds left. The All-Star forward capped his output and provided the final margin with a free throw with 21 ticks left.
"I was just praying that my shots went in," Anthony said. "My shot has been off for the last week. I just kept going to the glass and tried to get a little confidence back."
The 6-8, 230-pounder shot 10-of-28, including 5-of-8 in the fourth quarter for the Nuggets, who have won three straight and six of their last seven contests. But it did not look good early.
"This was a tough win for us," Anthony said. "We played great defense the last six minutes of the fourth quarter, and that is what won this game."
The Hornets led, 81-77, after three quarters thanks to the inside-outside combination of Chris Paul and David West. New Orleans was 11-0 this season when leading at the end of the third.
"In the fourth quarter, they really picked up the intensity," Paul said of the Nuggets. "We matched them to a certain extent, but in the last five minutes we couldn't contain them. There is no way a team should shoot that many free throws."
Anthony put an end to that in the final 12 minutes as the Nuggets took their biggest lead to that point when his dunk made it 97-92 with 3:55 left. Iverson created the play with a nifty steal and passed to his superstar teammate on a 3-on-1 fast break.
"We did whatever it took to win tonight," Iverson said. "Our energy level was high and this was just a great team effort. Everybody on the floor contributed to what we did tonight."
New Orleans tied the game on Paul's 3-pointer with 1:57 remaining, but Camby's acrobatic putback with 1:41 left gave Denver the lead for good.
"We just seemed a little sluggish and we seemed out of gas," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "We had two guys boxing out and somehow Camby tips in the ball. I give them credit for being more aggressive."
Iverson was 8-of-16 and Camby finished 6-of-13 for the Nuggets, who shot 47 percent (40-of-85) from the field, including 7-of-19 from the arc.
"We weren't playing our game in the first half," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We were much more aggressive in the fourth. I thought this was one of our best wins of the year."
Paul collected 30 points and 12 assists and West added 25 and 16 rebounds for the Hornets, who suffered just their second loss in their last seven games.
NEW ORLEANS 99
DENVER 105 FINAL
Dec 12 11:24 PM
NEW ORLEANS 81
DENVER 77 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 12 10:53 PM
NEW ORLEANS 59
DENVER 51 HALFTIME
Dec 12 10:13 PM
NEW ORLEANS 27
DENVER 24 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 12 9:38 PM
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