Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/29

Game 1: Thursday, December 29th
Game 2: Sunday, February 12th
Game 3: Friday, March 24th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19th

SuperSonics 104


Nuggets 117

(40-30, 23-12 home)

    Coverage: ALT

    7:00 PM ET, March 24, 2006

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 27 28 24 25104
    DEN 27 30 32 28117

    Top Performers

    Sea: L. Ridnour 18 Pts, 9 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Den: A. Miller 9 Pts, 5 Reb, 15 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Nuggets silence Sonics, add to division lead

    DENVER (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony is having a memorable March.

    Anthony scored 31 points and moved the Nuggets closer to winning the Northwest Division title with a 117-104 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday night.

    He is averaging nearly 30 points in 13 March games and shooting 56 percent.

    "I'm more concerned by the way we came out sluggish," said Anthony, who has scored 96 points in three games against the Sonics this season. "It was a good win."

    The win was the third straight for Denver and reduced its magic number to seven games. Any combination of seven Denver wins and Utah losses clinches the title.

    Of more interest to the Nuggets was the career-high 22 points provided by Reggie Evans. Evans, acquired from Seattle in a Feb. 23 four-team trade to provide energy off the bench did just that.

    "I thought Reggie really kept us in the game in the first half," Denver coach George Karl said. "He might have been the MVP of the game."

    Evans has never said anything about his former team or teammates since the trade. He was quiet after every basket and never looked toward the Seattle bench.

    "I didn't say anything because there's love between me and my former teammates," Evans said. "It wasn't anything personal, what all went down. I'm glad they traded me."

    Luke Ridnour led Seattle with 18 points and eight assists. Ray Allen had only 14 points on 6-for-19 shooting for Sonics.

    "We didn't play. None of us," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "As bad as we played, Denver should have beaten us by 50."

    Allen's jumper and his lone 3-pointer got Seattle as close as 91-84 with 10:04 left in the fourth quarter, but DerMarr Johnson sank two straight 3-pointers to put the Nuggets back up 97-84. The Sonics trailed by eight, but Johnson's layup off a feed from Anthony made it 107-97.

    Four different Sonics players missed 3-pointers on their next possession. Anthony answered with a layup and Andre Miller sank a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Denver some breathing room and 112-97 cushion with 3:07 left.

    The Sonics stayed close to Denver with Chris Wilcox's dunk tying the game at 59 early in the third quarter. The Nuggets went on a 17-4 run, seven coming from Anthony and six from Ruben Patterson to pull ahead 76-63. Seattle was only 1-for-10 shots in the six-minute stretch that ended with 4:45 left in the third quarter.

    Two free throws by Mike Wilks for Seattle in the last second of the third quarter closed the gap to 89-79. Anthony had 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting in the period.

    Evans had 16 points by halftime, 11 in the second quarter when the Nuggets built the 57-55 lead they held at the break. Allen had five points on 2-for-9 shooting, but didn't score until converting a free throw with 8:37 left in the second quarter.

    "Tonight, I was just off," Allen said. "I can't make excuses. I didn't make shots."< ^Notes@: Seattle is 14-24 under Bob Hill, who was named head coach on Jan. 3. ... The teams had split the previous two meetings with each winning on the other team's home court. ... Allen is 17-for-34 on 3-pointers against Denver this year. ... Denver's Kenyon Martin sat out with a sore left knee.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 104 117
    FGM-FGA 41-98 (.418) 43-93 (.462)
    3PM-3PA 4-24 (.167) 7-14 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 18-27 (.667) 24-31 (.774)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 20-47 15-52
    Assists 22 31
    Turnovers 17 15
    Steals 3 7
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 17 24
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (2/0) 20 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 9 15

    Top Performers

    Luke Ridnour Ridnour
    Points: 18
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 9
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 15
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1