Nuggets 110, Rockets 100
“I had one of those night, a bad night of shooting,” Anthony said. “Fortunately, we defended them and held them to one shot in the second half and didn’t let Yao Ming go off.”
“Marcus was exceptional and we gave a great effort,” Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “This was a very solid win against a very solid basketball team.”
With the victory, the Nuggets moved within percentage points of eighth-place Portland in the Western Conference playoff chase.
Nene and Andre Miller had 14 points each for the Nuggets, who had eight players reach double figures.
“There was not one thing we did well enough to win,” Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. “That game had nothing to do with fatigue.”
The Rockets had been beaten the night before by the Los Angeles Lakers and at least Yao acknowledged the second of back-to-back games had taken something out of him.
“I was tired,” Yao said. “The altitude made me even more tired.”
Anthony, who had only three field goals through three periods kept the Nuggets ahead by double figures with four free throws until Weatherspoon’s layup made it 89-81. Denver never allowed the Rockets any closer than nine points after Yao’s two free throws cut it to 101-94 with 2:06 left.
The Nuggets led by as much as 81-63 after Barry’s 3-pointer with 4:12 left. Jim Jackson hit a last second shot as Houston finished the quarter with an 8-0 run to make it 85-75.
“The playoff race is going to change daily,” Bzdelik said. “Hopefully, wewill keep winning and the changes will be in our favor.”
Houston’s Steve Francis got up gingerly in the first quarter after behind slammed to the floor by Anthony. … The Rockets are 11-6 on the second night of back-to-back games. … Houston is seventh in the Western Conference, three games ahead of Denver and Portland. … Anthony tore off his head band and threw it toward the baseline after missing a layup in the second quarter. … Barry will appeal the $7,500 fine he received for verbally abusing officials in a March 27 loss at Utah. … Denver’s Voshon Lenard missed hisfourth game with sore ribs.