Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Sunday, November 13th
Game 2: Friday, January 13th
Game 3: Friday, February 24th
Game 4: Friday, March 31st

Timberwolves 91

(3-3, 0-3 away)

Nuggets 102

(3-4, 3-1 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:00 PM ET, November 13, 2005

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 24 17 19 3191
    DEN 24 24 24 30102

    Top Performers

    Min: K. Garnett 19 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Den: M. Camby 18 Pts, 22 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 7 Blk

    Nuggets top Timberwolves behind Johnson, Camby

    DENVER (AP) -- Marcus Camby had another dominant game, DerMarr Johnson came through in a surprise start and the Denver Nuggets finally started looking like the good team many people thought they'd be this season.

    Johnson scored 17 points in his first start of the season and Camby had 18 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots to help the Nuggets to a 102-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

    "When we play like that, it's pretty hard to stop us," said Carmelo Anthony, who matched his season high with 23 points. "Everyone was doing their thing, pitching in."

    That's the name of the game in Denver's motion offense and it's even more important with Kenyon Martin out of the lineup. The starting forward rested his tender left knee -- still hurting after offseason surgery -- and more of the burden fell on Camby, Anthony and the rest of the Nuggets.

    "I told them this morning, we had real good energy for the first 2½, three weeks of training camp," coach George Karl said. "Then we lost that energy. I may be stupid, but if you don't play with intensity and explosiveness on your home court, you don't deserve" to be considered a contender.

    Wally Szczerbiak led the Wolves with 20 points. Kevin Garnett had 19 points and nine rebounds, but Minnesota fell behind by double digits midway through the third quarter and never got closer.

    "I thought we participated instead of competing," Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "The game was on the schedule and we just showed up."

    Part of that had to do with the way the Nuggets played.

    Camby was his usual dominant self. He recorded his fifth double-double in seven games this season. His 22 rebounds were two short of a career high and fell only eight short of Minnesota's entire total.

    "He's hitting all kinds of shots from the outside and he's as long and lean and active as they come," Szczerbiak said. "He had a hell of a game."

    Meanwhile, Karl put Johnson in the starting lineup in place of Voshon Lenard, hoping to restore some movement in an offense that had become stagnant during the team's 2-4 start and maybe improve on Denver's league-worst 16 percent accuracy from 3-point range.

    All that worked. Johnson made two of Denver's seven 3-pointers to bring the team total to 19 this season. And with Anthony's outside shot working, the Nuggets moved the ball well and shot 48 percent.

    Leading 52-46 early in the third quarter, Anthony hit a 16-foot jumper and then Johnson scored three straight buckets -- an alley-oop on a pass from Andre Miller, a 16-footer of his own and a 3-pointer -- as part of a 13-4 run that put the lead into double digits.

    "I am always confident," said Johnson, who had played only 58 minutes all season before logging 32 in this game. "I just liked the way we got the win tonight. I ran tonight and on every play I played defense."

    The Timberwolves stayed within striking range but couldn't get their deficit under double digits, and as the game went on, they got frustrated.

    Garnett drew a technical foul and rookie Rashad McCants (14 points) got ejected after slamming the ball home and then draping his arm over Camby's head and sticking his chest out in an attempt to taunt the Nuggets center.

    "I guess he was yapping too much," Camby said. "He caught a nice little dunk. But that's how rookies are. They don't know any better."

    By then, though, the game had pretty much been decided and the Nuggets were enjoying their third victory, hoping they can get on their first winning streak of the season Tuesday in Dallas.

    "Tonight was a must-win," Anthony said. "Hopefully, this is our turnaround game."

    Earl Boykins had 16 for Denver, including two 3-pointers. Francisco Elson, who started in Martin's place, was shut out and committed four fouls in 12 minutes.

    Game notes

    Nikoloz Tskitishvili, a bust after being picked fifth in the 2002 draft by the Nuggets, returned to Denver as a member of the Timberwolves. Overheard from the crowd: "Hey, Tskiti, we missed you. We named the bench after you." ... Camby is averaging 19.3 points, 16.6 rebounds and five blocks over the last three games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 102
    FGM-FGA 35-81 (.432) 39-81 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 7-15 (.467) 7-12 (.583)
    FTM-FTA 14-18 (.778) 17-26 (.654)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-30 15-54
    Assists 22 25
    Turnovers 10 21
    Steals 9 6
    Blocks 4 12
    Fast Break Points 14 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (4/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 3 18

    Top Performers

    Kevin Garnett Garnett
    Points: 19
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Marcus Camby Camby
    Points: 18
    Reb: 22
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 7