No matter how many things the Denver Nuggets did wrong Saturday, they somehow always remained within striking distance of the Dallas Mavericks.
And with a second left, Carmelo Anthony struck.
Anthony broke free of a defender trying to foul him and nailed a 3-pointer that gave the Nuggets a 106-105 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas, giving them a 3-0 series lead that has been insurmountable in NBA history.
Denver trailed 105-101 with 31 seconds left, but got a quick dunk from Anthony and forced Dirk Nowitzki to miss a 13-footer with about 8 seconds left. After a timeout, Anthony took an inbounds pass and Dallas’ Antoine Wright tried to foul him – twice – since the Mavericks had a foul to give.
Anthony lost his dribble the first time, then bounced off the second bump to find himself wide open. He buried the 3 from right in front of the Mavericks’ bench, where everyone was going bonkers over the lack of a foul call. It was pretty ironic considering there had been 61 fouls called to that point, keeping either team from ever getting into a flow the entire game.
Later Saturday night, the NBA admitted the officials were wrong when they didn’t call an intentional foul.
•James leads Cavs past Hawks: LeBron James scored 47 points in his best game yet of these playoffs, leading the Cavaliers to the brink of their second straight postseason sweep with a 97-82 victory over the Hawks in Atlanta.
Joe Johnson, who didn’t decide until game time that he was healthy enough to play, led the Hawks with 21 points. Josh Smith added 18 and Flip Murray 17.
•No suspension for Perkins for elbow: Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins will not face a suspension for an elbow that hit Orlando’s Mickael Pietrus in the chin and throat and drew a flagrant one foul.
Penguins win again
The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a third-period deficit, survived Alex Ovechkin’s tying goal late in regulation, then won on Evgeni Malkin’s score 3:28 into overtime for a 4-3 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Washington.
Jordan Staal added a second-period goal, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for the Penguins, who have won three straight after dropping the first two games of the series.
•Blackhawks defeat Canucks: David Bolland scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 5:05 left, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Canucks 4-2 at Vancouver, British Columbia, to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Cejka with big lead
Alex Cejka ended a wild afternoon of collapses at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., with a 5-foot birdie for a five-shot lead, and an unexpected date in the final round with Tiger Woods.
Cejka kept out of the water down the stretch and managed an even-par 72 to build the largest 54-hole lead in the history of this prestigious tournament. But the work might just be starting.
Woods appeared to be struggling earlier in the day, and only a birdie-birdie-par finish allowed him to shoot a 70, improving 20 spots to a tie for second.
•Wright, Kerr in front: Lindsey Wright shot a 7-under 64 and Cristie Kerr had a 66 to share the third-round lead as Lorena Ochoa faltered in the Michelob Ultra Open at Williamsburg, Va.
In-Kyung Kim was one off the lead after a 67, Song-Hee Kim was two back after a 68 and Ochoa’s 3-over left her tied for fifth with Natalie Gulbis (68) and Wendy Ward (67) of Edwall, Wash.
Safina wins title
Top-ranked Dinara Safina won her first title of the year by defeating fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Italian Open at Rome.
•Kubot to face Djokovic in final: Lukasz Kubot beat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (0), 6-2 at the Serbia Open in Belgrade, Serbia, to gain a matchup against Novak Djokovic in the final. Djokovic defeated Andreas Seppi of Italy 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Armstrong solid in trial
Lance Armstrong was satisfied with the start of his first major race since winning his seventh consecutive Tour de France in 2005.
Armstrong’s Astana squad finished third in the team time trial to start the Giro d’Italia in Venice, Italy – cycling’s most important race after the Tour.
Armstrong, riding in his first Giro, crossed the line first for Astana and is 15th in the overall standings.
•Kelowna advances to Memorial Cup: The Kelowna Rockets are going back to the Memorial Cup.
Tyson Barrie scored 8:13 into overtime as the Rockets beat the Calgary Hitmen 3-2 in Game 6 of the Western Hockey League championship at Kelowna, B.C., to take the series 4-2.
•UC Irvine wins volleyball title: Jordan DuFault had 14 kills, including the final one in the fifth set and UC Irvine won its second NCAA men’s volleyball title in three years, beating Southern California 3-2 in Provo, Utah.
•Dawson gets decision over Tarver: Chad Dawson successfully defended his IBF and IBO light heavyweight titles, unanimously outpointing Antonio Tarver at Las Vegas.
•Japanese swimmer breaks world record: Japan’s Ryosuke Irie set a world record in the men’s 200-metre backstroke today in a meet at Canberra, Australia. Irie finished in 1 minute, 52.86 seconds.
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