- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 27, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and hit a go-ahead jumper with 1:15 remaining to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 106-105 on Wednesday night after blowing a 13-point lead.

Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins debuted for the Clippers following last Friday’s trade that sent Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas to the New York Knicks.

Randolph missed seven of his first eight shots and finished 3-for-11 with seven points in 25 minutes. Collins picked up two fouls in his first 2 1/2 minutes on the floor and played nine scoreless minutes.

Rookie guard Eric Gordon led the Clippers with 24 points, while Baron Davis had 18 points and 10 assists. Marcus Camby had 17 points and 11 rebounds but missed a 3-pointer as the clock ran out.

Kenyon Martin had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets.

Anthony missed Denver’s 113-103 overtime win against the Clippers on Oct. 31 at Staples Center because of a two-game suspension he received from the Nuggets following his offseason DUI arrest. Camby, who spent the previous six seasons with Denver, missed that game due to a bruised right heel.

Four of the Clippers’ last six losses have been by five points or fewer.

After trailing 77-64 late in the third quarter, Los Angeles pulled even at 103 with a 17-7 run capped by Gordon’s 3-pointer with 1:35 to play. The basket came 10 seconds after Anthony Carter shot an airball on a 3-point attempt at the other end. But Denver regained the lead on Anthony’s 14-footer.

The Clippers’ latest trade was held up while the Knicks conducted further testing on Mobley’s congenital heart condition, but New York approved the deal anyway. Randolph and Collins weren’t able to practice with their new teammates until Tuesday, but they still haven’t played for their new coach.

Clippers assistant coach Kim Hughes guided the club in place of Mike Dunleavy, who was in Dallas for his father-in-law’s funeral. The only other time Hughes coached an NBA game was Feb. 4 at New York, when Dunleavy was ill and the Clippers beat the Knicks 103-94 to end a nine-game road losing streak.

Hughes had 4 more hours of notice than last time, when he found out just 3 hours before tip-off.

Hughes, in his sixth season with the Clippers, spent the previous five seasons with the Nuggets in a variety of roles including director of scouting, director of player development and assistant coach.

Clippers center Chris Kaman, playing his sixth straight game with a strained arch in his left foot that limits his jumping and affects his overall movement, went to the bench for good at the end of the first quarter with six points and one rebound in 12 minutes. It was a gametime decision to play for the 7-foot center, who didn’t take part in the morning shootaround or Tuesday’s practice.

The Clippers also had to deal with an undermanned bench. Guard Ricky Davis missed his third game with a sore left knee, forward Brian Skinner was scratched because of a virus and guard Jason Hart had the flu.

Notes:@ The Clippers trailed 56-55 at halftime despite a huge disparity at the free throw line. They went 5-for-9 while Denver was 18-for-21. … Chauncey Billips shot 2-for-10 and had seven points in 38 minutes. But the Nuggets still improved to 9-2 since acquiring the 2004 finals MVP from Detroit for Allen Iverson. … Denver F Chris Andersen, who missed his ninth game following a rib injury, is expected back in the lineup Saturday night at Minnesota. … Dunleavy is expected to rejoin the Clippers on Friday.

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