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Nuggets rout Pacers to remain unbeaten

CARMELO Anthony scored 25 points and Chauncey Billups added 24 to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers 111-93 yesterday for their best start in 24 years.

Anthony, who was averaging 38 points, shot just 6-for-17 from the field but made 11 of 14 free throws. Nene added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets (4-0), who are off to their best start since the 1985-86 season.

Former Denver guard Dahntay Jones led the Pacers with 20 points, and Danny Granger added 18 for Indiana (0-3).

Celtics 105, 76ers 74

At Philadelphia, Paul Pierce scored 21 points and Rasheed Wallace had 20 as Boston remained unbeaten with a victory over Philadelphia.

The Celtics are unbeaten in five games, even without the usual standout performances from Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Allen didn't score his first field goal until the third quarter and had five points. Garnett made just one basket on seven shots and scored three points when he was yanked with the game out of hand.

Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 17 points. Philadelphia missed 15 of 16 3-point attempts.

Cavaliers 102, Wizards 90

At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 27 points and Shaquille O'Neal added a season-high 21 while wearing out Washington's big men as Cleveland beat Washington for its third straight win.

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.

Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas scored 22 apiece to lead the Wizards.

Pistons 85, Magic 80

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Ben Gordon scored 23 points and Rodney Stuckey added 20 as the short-handed Detroit handed Orlando its first loss of the season.

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 on April 13, 2003 - during his rookie season - against Memphis.

The Pistons also got 20 from third guard Will Bynum, while Vince Carter led Orlando with 15. Dwight Howard had just eight points and five rebounds in 17 minutes before fouling out.

Suns 104, Heat 96

At Miami, Steve Nash scored 30 points and added eight assists as Phoenix used a dominant fourth quarter to beat Miami in a matchup of NBA unbeaten teams.

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.

Mavericks 96, Jazz 85

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored a club-record 29 of his 40 points during a frantic fourth-quarter comeback as Dallas beat Utah.

Nowitzki broke the franchise record of 24 points in any quarter set by Mark Aguirre against Denver on March 24, 1984.

Deron Williams scored 22 points and Mehmet Okur added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Utah.

Lakers 101, Thunder 98, OT

At Oklahoma, City, Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and hit the go-ahead jumper in overtime as the Los Angeles Lakers got tested in their first road game of the season, 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 to push the lead to three.

Bulls 83, Bucks 81

At Chicago, Luol Deng scored 24 points while grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds as Chicago rallied from 18 down to beat Milwaukee.

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.

Brandon Jennings scored 25 points to lead Milwaukee.

Hawks 97, Trail Blazers 91

At Portland, Oregon, Jamal Crawford scored 27 points off the bench as 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.


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