DENVER (AP) — Even with Andrew Bogut ineffective and in foul trouble, the Milwaukee Bucks secured their signature road victory, beating the Denver Nuggets 102-97 on Saturday night.
Carlos Delfino had 26 points, and John Salmons added 21 to make up for Bogut's off-night as the Bucks won even though they didn't reach their hotel until 3 a.m. following a double-overtime win at Sacramento.
The Nuggets fell to 14-2 at home when facing a team playing the second of back-to-back games. They had won seven straight games overall at home and were 30-5 at the Pepsi Center coming in.
Bogut, who averages 16.3 points and 10.4 rebounds, was limited to two points and three rebounds in 15 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups each scored 29 points for Denver, but Anthony missed a series of shots in the final minutes when the Nuggets were desperately trying to catch up.
Despite a late night in California, the Bucks didn't look the least bit lethargic.
They stayed close all game and surged ahead 69-61 with 5½ minutes left in the third quarter thanks to a 7-0 spurt that was highlighted by Brandon Jennings' running jumper.
The Nuggets closed the quarter on a 15-7 run to tie it up at 76, and they would have taken the lead into the fourth quarter if not for Chris Andersen missing his second slam dunk, this one a one-handed put-back that rattled out at the buzzer.
Salmons stepped back behind the line and swished a 3-pointer that broke a tie at 78, and the Bucks didn't trail again.
The Nuggets could have tied it at 93 with 2:40 left but J.R. Smith's 3-pointer rattled out.
After Anthony sank one of two free throws to pull Denver to 97-95 with 1:28 left, Ersan Ilyasova (14 points) was left open underneath the basket for an easy layup when the Nuggets trapped Jennings on the wing.
Anthony turned it over at the other end, and Kurt Thomas hit a free throw to give Milwaukee a 100-95 lead with 36 seconds left, and Salmons sank two foul shots with 14 seconds left to ice it.
The Nuggets took a 54-53 lead into the locker room thanks to two free throws by Billups with 1.9 seconds left after he had nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key in which he scooped up an errant pass at his shoelaces and popped the net.
Anthony appeared to hurt his left wrist in a scramble for the rebound underneath the Bucks' basket late in the first quarter, then took himself out while grimacing. But he returned after a few minutes.
This was the seventh game Nuggets coach George Karl has skipped since announcing a month ago he had been diagnosed with throat cancer. Acting head coach Adrian Dantley fell to 5-2 in place of Karl.
NOTES: Andersen had his 500th career block in the first half. ... The game was tied at 44 in the first half despite a huge disparity in free throws: 19 for Denver, one for Milwaukee.