Anthony's buzzer beater saves Nuggets
Updated: 2006-01-09 08:47
HOUSTON - Long after Houston star Tracy McGrady was removed from the floor on
a stretcher and taken to a hospital because of back spasms, Denver's Carmelo
Anthony hit a baseline jumper with a second left to give the Nuggets a 92-90
victory over the already injury-depleted Rockets on Sunday night.
McGrady missed a long
jumper in the final seconds of the first half, then crumpled to the floor,
grabbing his back and screaming in pain as the buzzer sounded. He had missed
eight games earlier this season with back spasms and the Rockets lost them
Carmelo Anthony, left, blocks the shot of Houston Rockets' Luther Head (2)
during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game Sunday, Jan. 8,
2006, in Houston. [AP]
Earl Watson scored 20 and Anthony finished with 19 for the Nuggets, who
played most of the final three quarters without Kenyon Martin, who strained his
The Rockets actually shot better on Sunday without McGrady, going 11-for-20
(55 percent) in the third quarter after shooting 35 percent in the first half.
The Nuggets still led 67-62 heading to the fourth, but a steal by Luther Head
and a fast-break layup by Rafer Alston put Houston up 83-82. Alston scored a
The lead changed hands three times before Stromile Swift's two-handed dunk
gave the Rockets an 88-87 lead with 1:58 left.
Francisco Elson missed a medium-range jumper with 53 seconds left, but
Anthony grabbed the key rebound, setting up Earl Boykins' go-ahead 3-pointer.
Late in Houston's next possession, Swift picked up a loose ball in the lane
and was fouled by Andre Miller with 19.2 seconds left. Swift made both free
throws to tie the game at 90-all.
Anthony, guarded by McGrady in the first half, got the ball in the corner and
rattled in the game-winner over David Wesley.
Out of a time out, Jon Barry inbounded to Swift, who lost the ball as the
The Nuggets trailed by as many as nine in the first half, but rallied for a
40-37 lead at the break.
McGrady's painful departure added to a remarkably long list of injuries and
absences that have ravaged the Rockets' season.
Houston's other star, Yao Ming, is out at least another month after toe
surgery to remove an infection and Juwan Howard served a one-game suspension
Sunday after a confrontation with Toronto's Mike James on Friday.