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Nuggets Get 10th Straight Win

April 16, 2005

DENVER (AP) _ Nene took over late and finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets to their 10th straight win, 111-102 Friday night over the Memphis Grizzlies, who must wait at least another day to clinch a playoff spot.

The victory helped the Nuggets (48-31) match the third-longest winning streak in franchise history and pushed them into a tie with the Rockets for sixth place in the West, with a game at Houston on Saturday night.

Memphis needed a win or a Minnesota loss to clinch the last playoff spot in the West, but the Grizzlies lost their third straight and the Timberwolves won at Utah to keep the eighth position in limbo. Memphis plays at San Antonio on Saturday.

Kenyon Martin had 19 points and nine rebounds and Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 22 points. Andre Miller finished with 15 points and eight assists.

But it was Nene, the backup power forward, who put the game away in the fourth quarter. He took a sweet pass from Earl Boykins for a layup, made two free throws and had a nice tip-in as part of a 13-6 run that helped Denver push a six-point lead to 101-86 with 5 minutes left.

Memphis didn’t seriously threaten after that, although the Grizzlies didn’t quit. Things got testy at the 3-minute mark when Anthony, upset at a hard foul by Brian Cardinal, stuck a finger in Cardinal’s face. The pair had to be separated by the officials.

Lorenzen Wright had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost all four meetings with the Nuggets this season. Mike Miller led Memphis with 17 points.

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