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'Melo leads Nuggets past Sixers for third straight

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony made up for a slow start
with an excellent finish.

Anthony scored 29 points, including the go-ahead basket with
18.9 seconds left, and Ruben Patterson added 20 to lead the Denver
Nuggets to their third straight win, 97-93 over the Philadelphia
76ers on Thursday night.

"My team needed me out there to get some things done," Anthony
said. "At halftime I just told them it's time for me to wake up
and just go out there and win the game."

Mission accomplished for the Nuggets, who opened a seven-game,
10-day road trip.

Anthony scored 20 points in the second half and 11 in the fourth
quarter, none bigger than when he dribbled down the baseline and
came around from under the right side for a one-handed layup that
put Denver ahead 95-93.

"I saw a double (team) coming and I just tried to beat it,"
Anthony said. "I just had to go fast."

Marcus Camby had 13 points, 14 rebounds and one of the Nuggets'
two blocks on Philadelphia's last true possession that allowed them
to hang on for their first three-game winning streak since Jan.
14-25. Denver also improved to six games over .500 for just the
second time this season.

Allen Iverson scored 38 points and Chris Webber had 17 points
and 20 rebounds for the Sixers, who lost their third straight game.

After Anthony's basket, Iverson had a shot blocked by DerMarr
Johnson. The Sixers retained possession and Kyle Korver's driving
layup attempt was swatted away by Camby, his fifth block.

"It was a big defensive play," said Camby, who leads the
league in blocked shots per game. "We wanted to get him away from
the 3-point line. I was able to use my size."

Anthony sank two free throws and the Sixers' final desperation
shot was off the mark.

This was the third straight late-game disaster for Philadelphia.
The Sixers lost a seven-point lead in the final 2:20 a night
earlier at Boston, and a botched defensive strategy led to an easy
layup in the final seconds Sunday against Indiana.

"I've never gone through anything like this before," Webber
said. "I'm not a loser. You can never get used to losing. It
changes your whole lifestyle."

This time, the Sixers tried to be the ones who came back in the
fourth.

Iverson hit a 14-footer that got the Sixers within two late in
the quarter, then drove by Andre Miller on the left side for a
layup that made it 93-all with 2:03 left. The Nuggets where
whistled for a shot-clock violation on the next possession, and
Iverson missed a tough, off-balance shot.

Down by 15 midway through the third, the Nuggets needed quite a
rally to get this road trip off to a winning start. The Nuggets
opened the fourth on a 13-0 run, getting a game-tying 3-pointer
from Earl Boykins, then another 3 from Greg Buckner that gave them
an 82-79 lead.

"After this road trip, I think it will say a lot about us and
where we stand," Anthony said.

Iverson and Webber combined for 21 of Philadelphia's 25 points
in the third quarter, but Johnson hit a 3 for Denver in the final
ticks of the third that got the deficit into single digits.

Game notes
Sixers G Kevin Ollie (sprained ankle) did not play. Korver
started in his place. ... Coach Maurice Cheeks said he spoke with
Webber about the decision to bench him for the entire fourth
quarter against Boston. "I was doing what I thought at the time
was going to help us win the game," Cheeks said. ... Miller was
whistled for a technical in the third. ... Denver's seven-game trip
ties the longest in franchise history.