|DeShawn Stevenson is called for an offensive foul as he goes up against Cavs’ Daniel Gibson.
(Tony Dejak/Associated Press
Nuggets roll over Indiana
Denver stays on unbeaten track
Carmelo Anthony got a little help from teammates to lift Denver to its best start in 24 years.
Anthony scored 25 points and Chauncey Billups added 24 as the Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers, 111-93, last night in Indianapolis to improve to 4-0. Nene had 16 points and 13 rebounds and reserve Arron Afflalo added points 15 for the Nuggets.
“Everybody stepped up tonight,’’ said Anthony, who was averaging a league-best 38 points coming into the game. He was just 6 for 17 from the field, but made up for it by making 11 of 14 free throws.
The Nuggets say they have carried momentum from reaching the Western Conference finals last season.
“We should feel good, we shouldn’t feel no other way,’’ Anthony said. “It seems like we’re picking up where we left off from last year.’’
Former Denver guard Dahntay Jones led the Pacers (0-3) with 20 points. He made perhaps the strongest statements after the loss, Indiana’s third straight by double digits.
“It’s very tough to take three losses in a row like this,’’ he said. “We’re sick and tired of losing.’’
Cavaliers 102, Wizards 90 - LeBron James scored 27 points, Shaquille O’Neal added a season-high 21 while wearing out Washington’s big men, and host Cleveland won its third straight.
The Cavs trailed by 18 in the second quarter before turning up their defense and relying on their superstar combo of James and O’Neal to win their sixth straight at home over the Wizards.
Mo Williams scored 15 and Daniel Gibson 14 for the Cavs, who made nine 3-pointers in the second half - four in the fourth quarter when James was out. Williams and Gibson were a combined 7-for-9 on 3s.
Lakers 101, Thunder 98 - Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and hit the go-ahead jumper in overtime as Los Angeles got tested in its first road game, beating Oklahoma City.
Bryant connected on a turnaround jumper from the left side with 2:29 to play to give the defending NBA champions a 99-97 lead and then hit two free throws with 18 seconds remaining.
The Thunder had two chances to tie it late, but Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook each missed 3-pointers surrounding a pair of missed free throws by Lamar Odom.
Mavericks 96, Jazz 85 - Dirk Nowitzki scored a club-record 29 of his 40 points during a frantic fourth-quarter comeback and host Dallas beat Utah.
Nowitzki broke the franchise record of 24 points in any quarter set by Mark Aguirre against Denver March 24, 1984.
Dallas was down, 72-56, after Utah’s Wes Matthews hit a layup with 9:51 left. The Mavericks then trailed by 13 before Nowitzki’s three-point play triggered a 19-6 run capped by his layup with 2:41 remaining to tie it at 83.
Suns 104, Heat 96 - Steve Nash scored 30 points and added eight assists, and visiting Phoenix used a dominant fourth quarter to win in a matchup of unbeatens.
Amare Stoudemire finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, which overcame its largest deficit of the season and used a 13-4 run over the middle portion of the fourth to pull away. Jason Richardson scored 10 of his 14 points in the final period for the Suns, who are 4-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
Miami got 23 points from Dwyane Wade and 18 from Quentin Richardson. The Heat (3-1) were bidding for their first 4-0 start in five years.
Pistons 85, Magic 80 - Ben Gordon scored 23 points and Rodney Stuckey added 20 as shorthanded Detroit handed Orlando its first loss of the season in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince saw his streak of 496 straight games played end as he was sidelined with a back injury. Prince last missed a game April 13, 2003 - during his rookie season - against Memphis.
Prince will be sidelined for at least three games before his status is re-evaluated this weekend.
Hawks 97, Trail Blazers 91 - Jamal Crawford scored 27 points off the bench and visiting Atlanta outlasted Portland.
Al Horford’s dunk with 56.6 seconds left made it 95-89 and all but sealed it for the Hawks. Horford finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who was questionable going into the game with a knee injury, led the Blazers with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Bulls 83, Bucks 81 - Luol Deng scored 24 points while grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds, and host Chicago rallied from 18 down to beat Milwaukee.
The Bucks had a chance to win it after Joakim Noah missed two free throws, but Ersan Ilyasova missed a 3-pointer.
Derrick Rose scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as the Bulls rebounded from back-to-back losses with a wild win.