The Denver Nuggets rewarded their fans for their patience.
Rookie Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds, leading the Nuggets to a 107-86 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series last night in Denver.
Playing at home in the postseason for the first time in nine years, the Nuggets earned their first home playoff win in a decade and avoided going down 3-0 in the series.
Latrell Sprewell scored 25 points and Kevin Garnett added 24 for the Timberwolves, who fell behind by 17 points early in the game and only mounted one serious threat after that. Garnett added 11 rebounds, but that was far fewer than the 21 he had averaged in the first two games. The Nuggets, led by Marcus Camby's 16 rebounds, had a 53-36 edge on the boards.
Mavericks 104, Kings 79 -- Dallas began climbing back into its first-round series against visiting Sacramento, and it took an undrafted rookie to get the Mavericks going. Marquis Daniels shook, spun, and shot his way to 11 of his 22 points during a third-quarter spurt that deflated the Kings helped the Mavericks take Game 3 in the best-of-seven series. Sacramento leads the series, 2-1. Down 7 at halftime, Sacramento took itself out by making just 4 of 16 shots in the third quarter, missing its last seven. The Kings, who never led, came within 2 points of matching their lowest point total of the season.Daniels, who started the last 12 games of the regular season, was 10 for 20 and often ran the offense. The Mavericks got 21 points from Dirk Nowitzki, and Michael Finley added 18, one shy of his total for the first two games.
Pistons 95, Bucks 85 -- After a slow start, visiting Detroit unleashed its vaunted defense when it mattered most. Ben Wallace had 13 points and 21 rebounds as the Pistons shut down Milwaukee over the final four minutes for a 2-1 series lead.
Detroit, expected to come out firing after losing to Milwaukee at home this week, gave up 30 points in the first period and needed a run at the start of the third period to take its first lead of the game.
A dunk by Milwaukee's Joe Smith pulled the Bucks within 1 (85-84) with just over four minutes remaining before Detroit employed its suffocating defense.
The Bucks missed their final nine shots, with their only point down the stretch coming on a free throw by Desmond Mason with 2:53 left.
Hornets 77, Heat 71 -- Baron Davis, nursing a sprained right ankle, had a team-high 21 points as host New Orleans held Miami to 32.9 percent shooting. The Heat lead the series, 2-1.
David Wesley shot 3 of 4 from 3-point range for 18 points, while the struggling Jamaal Magloire fought through constant double-teams for 12 points, including two free throws in the final minute that gave New Orleans a 4-point cushion.