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Nuggets roll past T-Wolves 107-86
(Agencies)
Updated: 2004-04-25 14:05

The Denver Nuggets rewarded their fans for their patience. Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds to lead the Nuggets to a 107-86 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series Saturday night.


Denver Nuggets forward Chirs Andersen (C) shoots past Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett (L) and center Michael Olowokandi during the first half of Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference first round playoff game in Denver, April 24, 2004. [Reuters]
Playing at home in the postseason for the first time in nine years, the Nuggets earned their first home playoff victory in a decade and avoided going down 3-0 in the series.

They can even the series Tuesday in Denver.

Denver's previous home playoff game was May 2, 1995, a 99-95 loss to San Antonio.

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 of the series. The Nuggets, led by Marcus Camby's 16 rebounds, had a 53-36 edge on the boards.

Sprewell's 3-pointer got the Timberwolves within 67-59 with just under 6 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, but Minnesota didn't get another field goal until Garnett hit a layup with 10:53 to go in the game.

By then, it was too late.

Miller hit two free throws after Sprewell's 3, starting an 11-0 run capped by Voshon Lenard's 3-pointer from the corner that made it 78-59 with 3:12 to go in the period.

After that, The Timberwolves never got closer than 15 points.

Denver never trailed, thanks to 61 percent (11-for-18) shooting in the first quarter. The Timberwolves missed 14 of their first 17 shots.

But the Nuggets, who went on an 11-0 run after the midpoint of the period and led 23-6 with just over 3 1/2 minutes left, couldn't maintain that pace.

They were just 6-for-23 from the field in the second quarter and led 54-41 at the half.

Nene had 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting for Denver, after going 4-for-14 from the field in the first two games. Camby had 12 points and Earl Boykins finished with 10.

Wally Szczerbiak had 11 points for the Timberwolves, who are seeking their first playoff series win in eight tries. Sam Cassell added 10 points for Minnesota.

Before Saturday night, the Nuggets hadn't won in the postseason since beating Utah 94-91 on May 19, 1994 in their former home, McNichols Arena. That was in the Western Conference semifinals, also the last time Denver made it out of the first round.

 
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