Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/15

Game 1: Wednesday, December 15th
Nuggets100Final
Celtics99
Game 2: Wednesday, February 23rd
Celtics86Final
Nuggets107

Nuggets 100

(13-9, 4-5 away)

Celtics 99

(9-12, 5-5 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:00 PM ET, December 15, 2004

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 24 24 29 23100
    BOS 26 15 32 2699

    Top Performers

    Den: K. Martin 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl, 4 Blk

    Bos: P. Pierce 31 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Pierce (31 points) misses final attempt

    BOSTON (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony rescued the travel-weary Denver Nuggets with just seconds to spare.

    Anthony's 15-foot jumper with 3.6 seconds remaining gave the Nuggets a 100-99 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, the fifth stop on Denver's seven-game road trip.

    "It was nice to bounce back from last night's defeat," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "It really stung us and, after being on the road for a long time, I was really proud of how we responded."

    Anthony scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who have won seven of their last 10 games, including three of five during their East Coast trek.

    "They were double-teaming me the whole game and all five guys were being real physical with me," Anthony said. "But in a situation like tonight, my teammates and coach know I want the ball."

    Paul Pierce had 31 to lead the Celtics, including two free throws with 10.7 seconds to give Boston a 99-98 lead. He had a chance to win it, but his jumper at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

    Marcus Camby added 16 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks for the Nuggets, who won for only the second time against the Celtics since the 1991-92 season and snapped a seven-game losing streak in Boston.

    Kenyon Martin also had a double-double for Denver, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

    Boston erased a 98-93 deficit with 1:21 remaining to take the lead, but still lost for the fourth time in six games.

    "We just couldn't get the key stop," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We knew what was coming with that last play with Carmelo but we just didn't execute our defense very well."

    Ricky Davis had 13 fourth-quarter points following his 19-point fourth quarter against the Clippers on Monday night. Raef LaFrentz finished with eight points and 15 rebounds, while Gary Payton had 11 points with 10 assists.

    Earl Boykins helped Denver build a 39-27 lead when his layup capped a 15-1 run with 7:06 remaining in the first half. Pierce scored Boston's first basket of the second quarter 4:40 before the break.

    Andre Miller had 16 points in the first half on 7-of-9 shooting and finished with 19, rebounding from two poor games against New York and Philadelphia when he combined to go 5-of-19 from the field with 10 turnovers.

    Game notes


    Camby has 53 points and 33 rebounds over the last three games. ... Nene missed his second straight game with a bruised right hip for Denver. ... LaFrentz was drafted by the Nuggets in 1998 with their third pick. ... Pierce had 20 points at halftime and led the Celtics in scoring for only the third time in the last eight games. ... Denver is 9-3 against Eastern Conference teams. ... Miller had two steals to give him 600 for his career.

    ^------=

    On the Net:

    Denver Nuggets: http://www.nba.com/nuggets

    Boston Celtics: http://www.nba.com/celtics

    National Basketball Association: http://www.nba.com

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DEN
    BOS
    Points 100 99
    FGM-FGA 37-77 (.481) 35-89 (.393)
    3PM-3PA 6-13 (.462) 6-18 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 23-32 (.719)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-46 14-42
    Assists 23 24
    Turnovers 18 12
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 11 2
    Fast Break Points 18 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 18 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 12 6

    Top Performers

    Denver
    Boston
    Kenyon Martin Martin
    Points: 18
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 4
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 31
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0