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Carmelo Anthony’s big 3-pointer leaves Kevin Durant in disbelief

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY Modified: January 3, 2009 at 1:13 am •  Published: January 3, 2009
Kevin Durant stood near the foul line, hands on his hip, gazing up at the scoreboard as if waiting for the digits to change. The longer he stared, the more reality sunk in.

"I couldn’t believe he made it,” Durant said.

Carmelo Anthony nailed the game-winning 3-pointer from the left corner with 0.1 seconds left to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 122-120 win over the Thunder on Friday night at the Ford Center. Anthony’s clutch basket followed a go-ahead 3-pointer by Durant from the top of the key with 2.7 seconds remaining.

"We should have won the game,” said Durant, still in disbelief after scoring a game-high 33 points. "We fought hard all game. It’s tough to come out of the locker room and lose on a buzzer-beater.”

The last-second heartbreaks, however, are becoming typical for the Thunder.

Anthony, who scored a team-high 31 points, became the fourth player to silence the Thunder on a game-winner inside the final minute, joining Phoenix’s Matt Barnes, Minnesota’s Mike Miller and Detroit’s Allen Iverson.

"We’re putting ourselves in position to win every game, which is what we want to do,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We’ve had some tough luck. But if we continue to go through these close games it’s going to help us hopefully in the near future. But in the long run it’s going to help all these guys. Defeats, you learn from them, you get better from them.”

Oklahoma City fell to 4-30 in the meantime, missing out on its best chance to snare two straight wins after leading the Nuggets the first 20 minutes, 10 seconds of the second half.

The Nuggets grabbed their first lead of the second half when a pair of free throws by Anthony with 3:50 remaining put them ahead, 109-107.

Until then, the Thunder had exposed a Denver team that limped into the Ford Center a loser of four of its past six road games and allowed 107.1 points in those contests.

After trailing by as many as 11 in the first quarter, the Thunder outscored the Nuggets 38-21 in the second quarter to take an 11-point halftime lead.


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