Carmelo's Last Shot Steals the Game: Nuggets Take 3-0 Lead

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IMay 9, 2009

DALLAS - MAY 09:  Forward Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets reacts during play against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 9, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

A game decided by a controversial no call. That's all I will say.

Shooting a dismal below 40 percent in the first half, the Nuggets were in a tight game with the Dallas Mavericks on the road. The Nuggets started off by missing 15 of the 17 shots.

Josh Howard was playing in the game and logged a couple of minutes in the first half as he landed on his ankles again, and had foul trouble.

Chris Anderson, who has been a factor in the Nuggets previous wins was held to five points, six rebounds, one block, and an unfortunate six fouls. After playing more than 20 minutes in the previous games, Anderson only logged in 10.

Jr. Smith, who came in averaging 18 points on 56.5 percent shooting, was limited to seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.

Nene was also a nonfactor in this game. Averaging 24.5 PPG against the Mav's, today he only had five points on 2-for-10 shooting.

Fortunately, Chauncy Billups was there. Billups had a quiet first half, but went on to unload 25 points in the second en route to a quiet 32.

Denver was within one point at 102-101 with 44.3 seconds remaining. Dirk Nowitzki drove in from the right side and kicked it out to Jason "Jet" Terry, who hit a trey to take a 105-101 lead with 31.1 seconds remaining.

The Nuggets took a time out, advanced the ball and in about three seconds, Anthony drove to the hoop and made a dunk bringing it to 105-103.

The Mavericks inbounded the ball, ran the clock down, and Kenyon Martin forced Nowitzki to a hard off-balanced shot which hit the front of the rim.

With 6.5 seconds to go and a foul to give, Anthony got the inbound, fumbled the ball, went to the right side, and this is when Antoine Wright supposedly made a foul, which the refs did not call.

With everybody expecting the whistle to blow, they stopped playing, but Anthony did shot a three-pointer with one second left to take the lead 106-105. The whole arena, Dallas bench, and Mark Cuban went crazy of the lack of a no call. Cuban actually went and pushed a camera man.

"I didn't see a foul,'' Nuggets coach George Karl said. "It seemed like he fumbled the ball.''

The Mavericks inbounded, but Nowitzki shot an air ball, and the Nuggets won to take a 3-0 series lead.

"Officiating has to be a science, not an art,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "If I sit here and belabor this it's not going to be good for our league. It's one of those times where it's really an unfortunate thing.''

Dallas did keep up with the Nuggets through out the whole game. For the first time in this series, the stayed tight with the Nuggets in the fourth.

"We knew it would be a hard-fought game, four-quarter game,'' Billups said. "We just stayed with it. We came up with a great win.''

Nowitzki finished the game with 33 points and 16 rebounds. Both teams shot a combined 89 free-throws in the game.

Next game will be on Monday at Dallas. Start time will be 9:30 PM EST, 7:30 Pacific on TNT where the Nuggets will try to complete the sweep.