<
>

Carmelo's 31 points help Nuggets get first win of year

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony hit a pair of jumpers late
in the fourth to turn back a late Philadelphia rally, and was
perfect down the stretch from the free-throw line.

The clutch play was enough to give this tight one to Denver and
knock out the big zero in the win column.

Anthony scored 31 points, Andre Miller added 18 and Marcus Camby
had 10 points and 11 rebounds to lift the Denver Nuggets to their
first victory of the season, 108-101 over the 76ers on Friday
night.

"I was a little nervous the way things were going for us,"
Camby said. "We should be 4-0, but the record is 1-3. It really
feels good to win. Now we have to hope this carries over."

The Nuggets were the NBA's only winless team, losing their games
by a combined six points. J.R. Smith had 16 points and the Nuggets
held off a late Sixers rally to jump into the win column.

The Nuggets played without Kenyon Martin, out indefinitely after
an MRI revealed loose cartilage in his left knee.

Kyle Korver had 23 points and Allen Iverson scored 21 on
6-for-21 shooting for the Sixers, who lost their third straight.
Samuel Dalembert had 17 points and Chris Webber 16.

The Sixers won their first three games, then dropped two
straight on the road. One of the two streaks is a mirage, and the
Sixers will get a strong indicator of what kind of team they really
are next week on the road.

The Sixers head West for games at Seattle, Phoenix and the Los
Angeles Clippers before returning home Nov. 21 against Detroit.
They'll play seven of their next nine on the road.

"This will tell a lot about our team," Iverson said. "You
lose three and you find out what you're about. Honestly, I feel
good about it happening so early so we can see what type of team we
are."

After playing loose with the ball (21 turnovers) and apathetic
on the boards, the Sixers caught a too-little, too-late spark in
the final minutes.

Willie Green grabbed a defensive rebound and followed with a
basket to make it 104-101 with a minute left. The always-hustling
Korver swiped another rebound, but Green hoisted a quick 3 when the
Sixers still could have used a two, or the more-reliable Korver
should have taken the deep shot.

Anthony scored 10 of the last 14 points and sealed the win. He
made all six free throws in the fourth.

"That's what he does. He gets a lot of money to do it," Denver
coach George Karl said.

This loss will surely linger for a few days. Maybe more
defensive drills are on the practice slate.

Because while the Sixers sank a few big shots in the fourth --
led by Korver -- they simply could not make enough stops to ever
really make a significant dent in Denver's lead.

Denver shot 57 percent in the fourth and held off every Sixers
rally.

Trailing by 13, Iverson crashed to the hardwood and converted a
three-point play. Anthony sank a two.

Korver excited the crowd with a 3-pointer. Earl Boykins calmly
sank a 3 of his own on the other end from the baseline.

And when Green made a rare, hustling defensive play by scooting
around the right side and tipping-in a miss -- yup -- Anthony
absolutely buried a tough 20-foot jumper to make it 101-89. Denver
made the shots and the stops needed to win.

"We haven't played well in the fourth quarter, and tonight we
did a lot better," Karl said.

Maybe the Sixers need another trip to Spain. They preached
defense on a daily basis on their overseas training camp, and vowed
to be tougher in that area this season. But in the first quarter,
eight of Denver's first nine baskets and 10 of 13 overall were
layups. Most came off 10 Philly turnovers.

Game notes
The 76ers are not for sale. Comcast-Spectacor said it has
decided to retain control after evaluating a possible sale or new
partnership. "Over the last summer, we were presented a variety of
proposals involving the purchase of some or all of our interests in
the team," Sixers chairman Ed Snider said. "When these parties
came to us, it confirmed what we already knew, that the Sixers are
a very valuable and popular franchise." ... Denver F Nene left the
game in the first half with a bruised right knee after he collided
with Camby. ... Dalembert made his first seven shots before missing
in the fourth.