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Carmelo Anthony swishes late winner to snap Cleveland's run

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Reuters) - Carmelo Anthony swished a contested jump shot with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime to help the Denver Nuggets snap the Cleveland Cavaliers' 13-game winning streak with a 118-116 victory Thursday.

Anthony netted 40 points and the game-winner in a fierce shoot-out with rival LeBron James, who notched an astonishing triple-double with 43 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds.

"It was a pretty good show between (Anthony]) and LeBron," Nuggets coach George Karl told reporters. "I didn't want to take Melo out. I was afraid I'd get some phone calls from the fans if I did."

James became the first player since Pete Maravich in 1974 to amass at least 40 points, 15 assists and 10 boards, but his night ended in disappointment with a missed three-pointer from long range as time expired.

Reigning MVP James sent the game into overtime with a game-tying triple 48 seconds left in the fourth.

He then tacked on a drive and free throw that tied the game at 116 in the extra session before Anthony controlled the next possession and drained the jumper in his face.

"It was two really good teams," James said. "It really came down to whoever got the stop they needed or made the shot they needed to win the game. That's how it ended."

The loss was the first since January 14 for Cleveland (43-12).

The Nuggets (36-18) were playing their first game since the All-Star break and just two days after coach Karl announced his battle with throat and neck cancer. Karl was present on the bench but will undergo treatment that will last 4-6 weeks.

He could miss up to nine games starting with Thursday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

Denver, who swept their series against Cleveland and have improved in recent weeks to second in the Western Conference, got off to a strong start to lead 52-44 at halftime.

Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups, who have both recovered from injuries, had 18 points each for the Nuggets.

James, who had been held to just eight points in the first half, spearheaded a 35-23 assault in the third quarter to turn the tables, then tallied 18 in the fourth.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Ian Ransom)

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