101 - 105 Final
  for this game

Martin, Nuggets stuff Sixers

Dec 27, 2008 - 6:12 AM By Blake Redabaugh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- Kenyon Martin drove the lane and jammed home a hoop with nine seconds left to give the Denver Nuggets a 105-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

Philadelphia had a last chance to win the game, but Andre Iguodala traveled with 3.8 seconds left as the 76ers blew what at one time was a 17-point lead, including an 11-point advantage after three quarters.

Marreese Speights had canned an alley-oop basket with less than 20 seconds to play, giving the 76ers a 101-100 lead, setting the stage for Martin.

"The lane was there and the big man just stood underneath the basket," Martin said. "The shooters were in the corner so they weren't going to come up on me. It's a great win for us."

"Kenyon made a great decision," said Denver guard Chauncey Billups, who was double-teamed on the play and passed it to Martin. "He just went down the lane and did what he does best. It was a great play by K-Mart."

Billups added a free throw on a technical foul called on Andre Miller, and Chucky Atkins hit another pair to ice the game.

"We have to win in different ways," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We have got to win bad and we won bad tonight."

J.R. Smith scored 27 points, including seven of Denver's 15 3-pointers. Billups added 26 for the Nuggets, who were without Carmelo Anthony.

The Nuggets improved to 2-1 since the All-Star forward has been on the shelf nursing a sore right elbow. Anthony, who is averaging 20.5 points per game, is expected to return for Sunday's game at the New York Knicks.

"We just think we're forcing it too much when Carmelo isn't out there," Smith said. "We were starting to miss him a little bit, but fortunately he's back."

The Nuggets completed a comeback from down 17 midway through the third quarter.

After the Sixers led, 52-49, at halftime, Iguodala led the them on a 22-8 run to open up the half. The 74-57 lead was the largest of the game for Philadelphia as Iguodala scored 10 points - including two 3-pointers - during the surge.

"I'm proud of the way we played," interim coach Tony DiLeo said. "We're taking a step in the right direction. We just couldn't finish out the game tonight and that's what we have learn to do."

Iguodala led Philadelphia with 24 points. Miller added 19.

"We played hard and executed on both ends," Iguodala said. "Guys came in and did their job but there were a few mental mistakes at the end that we have to correct."