Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Friday, November 4th
Trail Blazers68Final
Game 2: Wednesday, January 25th
Trail Blazers94
Game 3: Saturday, February 4th
Trail Blazers104Final
Game 4: Monday, April 10th
Trail Blazers98

Nuggets 97

(25-19, 10-11 away)

Trail Blazers 94

(14-26, 10-12 home)

Coverage: ALT

7:00 PM ET, January 25, 2006

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 27 20 24 2697
POR 33 23 15 2394

Top Performers

Den: C. Anthony 26 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Por: Z. Randolph 18 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast

Nuggets win seventh straight behind 'Melo's 26

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- It took nearly a half before the Denver Nuggets decided to play with any sort of urgency.

Trailing nearly the entire game, the Nuggets finally pulled together in the fourth quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 97-94 on Wednesday night.

Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and nine rebounds, while Andre Miller added 21 points -- 17 in the fourth quarter alone -- for Denver's seventh straight victory. So far in 2006, the Nuggets have gone 11-2.

"It was one of those loose games where we thought that because our record was good we were going to win the game," coach George Karl said. "In the second half we finally showed some spunk."

The Blazers, who lost their second straight at home, were up by as many as 12 points in the second half, but both teams wrestled with the lead in the final minutes.

Greg Buckner's 3-pointer with 1:13 left put the Nuggets up 97-94 for their biggest lead of the game.

The Blazers inbounded the ball with 3.7 seconds left and guard Steve Blake was fouled by Kenyon Martin as Denver had a foul to give. With 1.6 seconds on the clock, Blake inbounded the ball again, and Travis Outlaw missed an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer.

"We just wanted to keep pushing because we knew they were a team that would let you back in the game if we pushed through it," Miller said.

Martin added 21 points for the Nuggets, who have won four straight against the Blazers.

"I don't believe in luck. It was will," Anthony said. "The last five minutes we really buckled down and took control of the game."

Zach Randolph had 18 points and nine rebounds while center Theo Ratliff had 11 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Portland coach Nate McMillan's take on the final quarter? "No defense," he said.

The Blazers were coming off a 95-89 overtime loss to Dallas on Sunday that snapped the team's first four-game winning streak since the 2003-04 season.

"I am encouraged that we've been in control in two games against good teams," McMillan said. "Now we have to figure out how to win those games."

Portland took a 52-43 lead, their biggest of the first half, on Juan Dixon's short jumper on a pass from Blake with 3:05 to go until the break. The Blazers led 56-47 at the half.

After Portland built a 12-point lead, the Nuggets went on a 14-2 run capped by Martin's dunk to tie it at 71. Anthony scored eight of those points.

The Blazers responded with their own 14-3 run to make it 85-74 on Outlaw's jumper. Martin's jumper with 4:58 left closed the Nuggets to within 85-84 and Miller made a pair of free throws to give Denver its first lead at 90-89.

"We kind of figured out their defense and Andre kept driving it to the rim," Karl said. "I'm not sure if they got fooled or tricked, but we got a lot of layups off it."

Game notes

The Nuggets won nine of the last 10 meetings with Portland. ... Portland coach Nate McMillan said the Blazers may recall rookies Sergei Monia and Martell Webster from Fort Worth of the developmental league as early as the first week in February. ... Among the fans at the game were Tiffeny Milbrett, from the U.S. national women's soccer team, and Christine Sinclair, who led the University of Portland to the NCAA College Cup soccer title, and won the Hermann Trophy for the best NCAA Division I player this past season. ... Denver center Marcus Camby has been cleared to play after missing 15 games with a broken finger, but was inactive against the Trail Blazers.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 97 94
FGM-FGA 40-81 (.494) 42-82 (.512)
3PM-3PA 1-10 (.100) 2-10 (.200)
FTM-FTA 16-20 (.800) 8-13 (.615)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-37 13-39
Assists 17 23
Turnovers 14 18
Steals 9 5
Blocks 7 4
Fast Break Points 23 7
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (1/0) 19 (1/0)
Largest Lead 3 12

Top Performers

Carmelo Anthony Anthony
Points: 26
Reb: 9
Ast: 1
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Zach Randolph Randolph
Points: 18
Reb: 9
Ast: 4
Stl: 0
Blk: 0