DENVER (AP) _ Keith Van Horn had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Stephon Marbury added 20 points and eight assists as the New Jersey Nets beat the Nuggets in Denver for only the fourth time in 27 tries, 94-81 Wednesday night.
Van Horn was 10-for-20 from the field. Marbury, who was coming off a 34-point performance at Utah, scored 11 of his points in the second half as the Nets won their sixth road game of the year.
They offset the 22-point performances of Antonio McDyess and George McCloud for the Nuggets, who shot 33 percent from the field. Nick Van Exel managed only two points on 1-for-9 shooting in the featured matchup with Marbury.
The Nets took a 69-56 lead into the final quarter, and Marbury hit four of five shots early to give them an 78-60 lead. McCloud, who was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and had 14 points in the last quarter, sank a 3-pointer with 2:15 left to get the Nuggets within 87-76.
Tariq Abdul Wahad’s layup and free throw with 1:52 to go got Denver as close as 88-78. New Jersey sealed the win with on Lucious Harris’ two free throws and Elliott Perry’s jump shot in the final 1:47.
After leading 50-37 at halfime, Van Horn’s two free throws put New Jersey ahead 58-40 early in the third quarter. The Nuggets closed the gap to 59-46 on a driving layup by Bryant Stith with 5:08 left.
McDyess, 3-for-9 and six points in the quarter, kept the Nuggets close with two baskets over the next three minutes. Jamie Feick’s 15-footer from the baseline and two free throws by former Nugget Johnny Newman in the last 1:31 enabled New Jersey to open a 13-point edge at the end of three quarters.
Notes: Van Horn has reached double figure scoring in all but eight of his 159 career games. ... Denver guard Tariq Abdul-Wahad played despite a sprained left wrist. ... Referee Gary Benson limped throughout the game after having his right ankle taped. ... Former Nugget Hall of Famer David Thompson was in attendance. ... Denver’s James Posey was held out of the second half after being kicked in the right leg. ... Nuggets guard Bryant Stith limped off in the second half and did not return. ... New Jersey is 8-13 against the Western Conference.