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NBA Roundup: Free The Denver Three!

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Notes on Monday's games in the National Basketball Association ...

We Shall Overcome. OK, we'll get to the Knicks-Jazz game presently, in a separate post. But as for the Nuggets, we're not really sure that they're totally clear on the concept of why they're three players down on their bench. When commissioner David Stern on Monday gave out suspensions to Denver's Carmelo Anthony (15 games), J.R. Smith (10 games) and Nene (one game), for their roles on Saturday's brawl with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, it was to send a message, presumably, that fighting won't be tolerated. But now here's Reggie Evans hoisting all three of his absent teammates' jerseys in a show of solidarity, at once saying "Our boys are heroes," and "Suck it, Stern." That's what we get from it, anyway. Meanwhile, Earl Boykins led the Nuggets with a season-high 29 points as Denver beat Washington 117-108. And now, let's listen as the Wizards' Agent Zero adds some perspective to the whole situation: "(The Nuggets) play better without Carmelo because the ball moves and everybody goes,'' said Gilbert Arenas. "They played well without him. It's an emotional team right now. They will play hard. They are still a good team.''


The Heat Is On. Has anyone noticed that the Heat are stealthily moving in on .500, only four games out of first in the Southeast? Yeah, us neither. But they won again on Monday, following the announcement that Allen Iverson would not be joining their roster, Miami topped New Orleans 101-99 as Sportsman Of the Year Wade hit a fadeaway with 1.3 seconds remaining for the difference.

Not Enough D Against Dallas. Teams don't usually make a mockery of Ron Artest's defensive skills, but the Mavericks pretty much did just that on Monday during a 109-91 win over the Kings. Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and Josh Howard had 28 — most of those against Artest — to lead Dallas to its fourth straight win.

Grizzlies Win! Grizzlies Win! Rudy Gay (17 points, six in the second overtime), Mike Miller (29 points) and Chucky Atkins (28 points, including a 30-footer at the end of the first overtime to tie the game at 115) led Memphis past Seattle 134-126 in double OT.

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