Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/22

Game 1: Tuesday, November 22nd
Game 2: Wednesday, December 21st

Nuggets 108

(7-5, 2-4 away)

Wizards 105

(5-5, 3-2 home)

Coverage: ALT

7:00 PM ET, November 22, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 27 28 19 34108
WSH 21 30 26 28105

Top Performers

Den: M. Camby 24 Pts, 14 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 6 Blk

WSH: G. Arenas 36 Pts, 2 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Melo, Camby double-doubles lead Nuggets

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Marcus Camby was everywhere Tuesday night, swatting shots into the stands, grabbing rebounds, hitting his trademark jumper from the top of the key.

So it stood to reason that he would be at the right spot at the right time as the clock wound down, getting a hand on Gilbert Arenas' 3-point attempt just before the buzzer to preserve Denver's 108-105 victory over Washington, the Nuggets' fourth straight win.

That capped a spectacular game for Camby, who had 24 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks. He has nine double-doubles in 12 games this season.

"I don't like to talk about it. I just go out there and play. My teammates are doing a great job of finding me in my favorite spots on the court," he said. "It's a team effort. I can't go out there and do it by myself."

He got plenty of help from Carmelo Anthony (28 points, 11 rebounds) and Earl Boykins (20 points, half in the fourth quarter), but it was Camby who drew the biggest praise from coach George Karl.

"This year there's no big guy playing basketball as well as he's playing basketball," Karl said. "He's such a good defensive player, and he has such pride in situations like that."

Before the game, Karl stood outside the visitor's locker room and heaped compliments on Arenas, comparing the fifth-year guard to Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady and saying: "How do you stop this guy? You hope he doesn't have that special game."

Arenas was special for stretches, finishing with 36 points and 10 assists, but he also was 1-for-6 from the field in the fourth quarter.

The final miss came under pressure from Camby, who came from seemingly out of position to block Arenas' potentially tying shot. Washington coach Eddie Jordan ran on the court to argue for a foul call but was quickly dismissed by referee Joe Crawford.

"I tried to lean with it to get away from his length, but he still blocked the shot," Arenas said.

Washington's other All-Star, Antawn Jamison, had 26 points and 12 rebounds. But the Wizards (5-5) lost their fourth straight game to fall to .500 for the first time this season. Washington was coming off an 0-3 road trip and now heads back on the road for three games, starting Wednesday at Orlando.

"We're going through some hard times," Jordan said. "Let's see how tough and resilient we are."

Washington's defense, so tough at the start of the season, allowed the Nuggets to drive the lane at will. Denver shot 46 percent, and Anthony's 18-for-22 free-throw shooting set career highs for makes and attempts.

Another key to the outcome: Led by the 5-foot-5 Boykins, Denver's reserves outscored Washington's 42-21. Wizards guard Antonio Daniels, replaced in the starting lineup by Jarvis Hayes in a bid to spark the second unit, went 0-for-10 from the floor.

"Dunks didn't fall, layups didn't fall," Daniels said.

Boykins' 3-pointer capped a 14-1 run from the third quarter into the fourth that allowed Denver to erase a nine-point deficit.

Jamison's 3-pointer tied it at 99 with 2½ minutes left. But when Boykins' 3-pointer bounced high off the rim and fell in a minute later, Denver led 104-101.

With the Nuggets (7-5) ahead 108-105, Anthony missed a layup, and Arenas grabbed the ball and called timeout as he fell to his back. Washington inbounded the ball with 6.9 seconds left, Arenas got the ball, and Camby made his final of several big plays.

"That was a good block, good defense. He was doing that all night," Anthony said. "Actually, he's been doing that all year."

The Wizards didn't have a four-game losing streak in 2004-05 until Feb. 4 -- 45 games into the season.

"We're not a .500 basketball club," Jamison said, "but we're playing like it."

Game notes

Anthony's previous career highs were 16 free-throw makes and attempts. ... Karl expects F Kenyon Martin to return to action Wednesday at Detroit. Martin has missed five of Denver's past six games with left knee tendinitis; the Nuggets are 5-0 without him. ... Boykins had seven assists and four rebounds. His two offensive boards gave him the same number as Washington's 7-foot Brendan Haywood and 6-11 Jared Jeffries combined -- in 17 fewer minutes. ... Arenas has five 30-point games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 108 105
FGM-FGA 37-81 (.457) 37-91 (.407)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 6-19 (.316)
FTM-FTA 29-35 (.829) 25-33 (.758)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-44 11-40
Assists 27 23
Turnovers 18 15
Steals 7 6
Blocks 9 6
Fast Break Points 24 23
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (1/0) 28 (2/0)
Largest Lead 14 9

Top Performers

Marcus Camby Camby
Points: 24
Reb: 14
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 6
Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 36
Reb: 2
Ast: 10
Stl: 2
Blk: 1