DENVER (AP) -- With his team clinging to a three-point lead,
Marcus Camby chased down a rebound and launched a 20-foot fadeaway
jumper as the shot clock was expiring. Swish.
Camby's basket with 23 seconds remaining helped the Denver
Nuggets beat Phoenix 97-92 on Wednesday night, ending the Suns'
four-game winning streak.
"Nothing was planned," Camby said. "The shot clock was going
down. I grabbed a loose ball in a scramble situation.
"I felt 100 percent about the shot. I've been hitting it of
late. I don't think they gave it to me."
Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said Camby's play, which came after a
missed shot by Andre Miller, "was not how we drew it up, but I'll
Camby and Earl Boykins combined to score Denver's last 18
Boykins had 10 points and Camby eight in the final quarter, and
they fueled an 18-10 run in the final nine minutes.
Camby had a season-high 22 points along with 18 rebounds and six
blocked shots. Miller also had 22 points for Denver, which posted
its third straight win. Rodney White had 17 points, Carmelo Anthony
14 and Boykins 13.
Joe Johnson led Phoenix with a career-high 28 points. Shawn
Marion had 16 points and 15 rebounds.
"I'm really proud of my basketball team for fighting through
this game," Bzdelik said. "We dug it out.
"We had great contributions from a lot of people. Rodney White
gave us a big shot in the arm (in the third quarter). Earl made
some critical shots, and Marcus was outstanding."
Boykins' three-point play started the Nuggets' rally, producing
an 82-82 tie with 8:46 left.
After Camby's two free throws made it 88-84, Howard Eisley and
Marion had back-to-back baskets for an 88-88 tie with 4:37 left.
Denver scored the next seven points, including five by Boykins,
and the Suns couldn't recover. Boykins' 3-pointer completed the
surge, making it 95-88 with 2:22 remaining.
Johnson's jumper cut it to 95-92 with 48 seconds left, but Camby
followed with his rebound jumper.
Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said an offensive foul on the Suns'
Jake Voskuhl with 4:04 left and the score tied was critical.
"It definitely turned the game around," he said. "That's
life. We should have won anyway. We squandered too many leads. We
didn't shoot particularly well, but good enough to win. We got some
breaks the last two games, but tonight we didn't get the breaks. It
kind of evens out in the long run."
The Suns were without forward Amare Stoudemire, who didn't make
the trip because of a sore left ankle and sore left big toe.
Johnson scored eight points in the first quarter to help the
Suns take a 24-20 lead. The Suns overcame 1-of-10 shooting to start
the period and used an 8-2 run, including back-to-back baskets by
Leandro Barbosa, to take a four-point lead midway through the
Denver responded with its own 8-2 flurry, but Johnson hit two
baskets in the last two minutes of the period.
Johnson opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and Phoenix
forged a 35-27 lead. Denver trimmed the deficit, scoring eight of
the game's next 10 points, including three points each by Miller
Casey Jacobsen hit the last three Phoenix baskets of the half,
including a 3-pointer. Miller had 12 points in the quarter for
Baskets by Marion and Barbosa to open the third quarter gave
Phoenix its biggest lead, 54-45.
But Denver battled back behind White, who scored 13 points in
the third quarter including 11 straight Denver points during a 15-6
Antonio McDyess' first game in Denver since being traded to
the New York Knicks on June 26, 2002, didn't happen. McDyess, now
with Phoenix, was placed on the injured list Monday because of
tendinitis in his left knee. ... Denver won the first two meetings
this season, 110-80 in Denver on Nov. 25 and 105-92 in Phoenix on
Jan. 13. The teams meet for a final time on April 7 in Phoenix,
when Denver will have an opportunity to sweep the season series for
the first time ever. ... Phoenix is 5-17 on the road this season.