LAS VEGAS -- The Denver Nuggets (3-0) held on for a 100-90 victory over the New York Knicks (0-1) Sunday afternoon at the NBA Summer League. Denver, who never relinquished the lead after going ahead one minute into the game, put New York in a 17-point hole after the intermission only to see the Knicks storm back to tie the contest on two occasions. The Nuggets managed to outscore the Knicks 18-8 over the final 7:45 to stay undefeated in UNLV's Cox Pavilion.
The teams used different scoring methods to rack up a combined 190 points with Denver toeing the charity stripe to New York's three efforts from behind the arc. The Nuggets stepped to the free throw line 50 times and connected on 34 of their attempts, while the Knicks went 10-for-31 from long distance.
Ty Lawson was a main reason for Denver's success Sunday, as he contributed 28 points off of 10-of-16 shooting and 7-for-9 at the line.
"Everybody's playing well, they sped up the game and that's our tempo, so we like that," Lawson said. "We were all making shots, just getting to the basket and playing good 'D'. We're winning and that's all you're looking for when you come in here."
The Nuggets, who led 43-36 midway through the second quarter, used a 16-6 run over a 5:32 span between the second and third stanzas to push out to their 17-point lead at 59-42.
The Knicks responded with a 28-11 spurt of their own 6:48 to tie the game at 70-70 with 1:48 remaining in the third.
Denver responded by going ahead by as much as six, 81-75, 1:15 into the final frame, but New York managed to pull even again with seven of the game's next eight points in 47 seconds.
Coby Karl joined Lawson in the 20-point club with 22 tallies of his own. He was perfect from the line going 7-for-7 and made three field goals, three of which were from three.
Othello Hunter and Shane Edwards rounded out the quartet of Nugget double-digit scorers with 19 and 15 points each, respectively.
The Knicks got a 27-point outburst from Toney Douglas, who went 8-for-20 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Bill Walker's 14, Landry Fields' 13 and Andy Rautins' 11 were not enough either to help in a losing effort.
The squads exchanged lead changes only twice in the affair with both occurring in the first minute of the game. Karl's 3-pointer with one minute off the clock put the Nuggets up for good, as they maintained a nice cushion through the remainder of the first half before heading into intermission ahead by 13 at 55-42.
At the break, Denver had four players in double-digits to New York's one. Hunter and Lawson led the Nuggets with 13 apiece, while Edwards and Karl had 13 and 10, respectively. Douglas was the lone Knick to reach double figures through 20 minutes of action with 16 scores.
The Knicks return to action Monday afternoon (1:00 pm) with the first game, once again, against the Los Angeles Lakers. After a day of rest, Denver will face the Chicago Bulls at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, July 13.