WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Denver Nuggets got their road trip off to
a good start.
Andre Miller scored a season-high 34 points as the energized
Nuggets began their longest road trip in 16 years with a 111-105
victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
"We know how important this long road trip is going to be for
us," Carmelo Anthony said of the Nuggets' seven road games in 11
days. "We were tired of playing at home. We wanted to get out on
the road. We came out tonight and just got up and down the floor."
The Nuggets outscored the Wizards 28-17 in fast-break points.
"It was a good effort by everybody," said Miller, who had
eight rebounds and eight assists. "That's why we had so much
energy, because everybody wanted to get out on the road. We hope to
win five or better on this trip."
Anthony finished with 23 points, and Marcus Camby a season-high
16 points and nine rebounds as the Nuggets opened their longest
trip since the 1987-88 season.
Gilbert Arenas led Washington with 28 points, and Antawn Jamison
added 27 points and 11 rebounds as the Wizards' four-game home
winning streak ended.
"Some things that we were able to get away with before, we just
didn't have tonight," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.
Washington pulled within 100-96 with 3:25 remaining after an 8-0
run was capped by Larry Hughes' jumper. But Anthony and Earl
Boykins scored consecutive baskets to give Denver a 104-96 lead
with 2:37 left.
"We dug ourselves a hole and every time we felt like we got
over that hump, they kept hitting big shots," Jamison said. "We
weren't hitting shots and it seemed like every time they had a guy
going to the other end, they were finding him. Even if you score,
they're still going to get the ball up quickly and do some damage
on the break.
"They had a lot of fast-break opportunities and they really
converted on them. Those guys can really run the floor. We just
didn't get back on defense."
Arenas hit a 3-pointer to pull Washington to 104-99 with 2:19
remaining. Larry Hughes' free throw made it a four-point game with
53 seconds left, but that was as close as the Wizards got.
"It seemed like every time we got close, they had a knockout
punch for us," said Brendan Haywood, who grabbed nine rebounds for
"You knew Washington was going to make a run," Nuggets coach
Jeff Bzdelik said. "They were knocking on the door and we kept
answering. Give our players credit -- they responded."
Boykins, who finished with 13 points and eight assists, opened
the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Denver a
35-28 lead. He dizzied the Wizards by assisting on numerous
backdoor plays for dunks and layups.
"I really don't know how they got all those backdoor plays,"
Haywood said. "If I had an answer to that, I probably would've
Anthony Peeler sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a tip-in
by Kwame Brown to keep the Wizards close midway through the second
Miller's 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Denver a 60-50 halftime
The Nuggets, who shot 59 percent in the first quarter, made nine
of their first 13 shots to take a 19-14 lead. The Wizards closed
the period with an 8-2 run and trailed 29-28 after one.
For the third time in his career, Jamison scored 17 points in
the first quarter. He didn't score in the second.
The Nuggets are 7-0 when Miller has seven or more assists.
... Jamison has played in a league-leading 344 consecutive games.
... The Wizards placed guard Steve Blake on the injured list with a
strained left arch, and activated Laron Profit. ... Cal Ripken Jr.
attended the game as a guest of Washington Capitals owner Ted
On the Net:
Denver Nuggets: http://www.nba.com/nuggets
Washington Wizards: http://www.nba.com/wizards
National Basketball Association: http://www.nba.com