Sacramento at Denver

Anthony scores 31 as Nuggets drop Kings

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DENVER -- George Karl was emotionally spent.

The Denver Nuggets coach returned to the team after spending two days with his son, who had surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes.

"We were all aware of the situation, with his son and everything" Nugget forward Carmelo Anthony said after Denver's 120-115 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night.. "He settled us down by telling us all was well."

Karl missed Tuesday's game against the Lakers to be with his son, who had surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes.

"He's doing great," the coach said of his son. "I think we can move to another chapter. My big thing is to hopefully make Coby cancer free for the rest of his life."

Anthony produced his fourth straight 30-point game with 31 points, but the Nuggets didn't make life easy for their coach, going through their usual second half meltdown. Sacramento trimmed the lead to five in the fourth quarter.

"Satisfied or happy wasn't something I was feeling in the second half," Karl said. "I was searching for energy, searching for some bodies that wanted to compete a little more intensely."

"They seemed to find some more answers than I did and fortunately we had a big lead and still won," Karl said.

Anthony, who also had eight rebounds and four assists, has scored 30 or more points 31 times this year and in 75 games in his career. Nee added 28 points and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets, winners of three straight.

The win kept Denver in the hunt in the race for sixth place in the Western Conference. The Nuggets (38-36) moved a half-game behind the sixth place Los Angeles Lakers (39-36), who lost to the Clippers.

"We weren't thinking about the Lakers tonight," Anthony said. "We were thinking about the coach and the unfinished business we have the rest of the way."

The Nuggets are 37-13 when scoring at least 100 points and 1-23 when they don't.

Ron Artest led the Kings with 32 points. Kevin Martin added 26 points for Sacramento, which has lost four straight.

"I give our team a lot of credit, effort-wise, in the second half," Sacramento coach Eric Musselman said. "Defensively, in the first half, giving up 71 points and the percentage they shot from the field, was certainly disappointing."

Sacramento (30-44) began the day 6½ games behind the Clippers (36-37) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

"We finished strong," Artest said. "We aren't officially out of the playoffs yet, so we will still play hard."

The Kings trailed by 16 after three quarters, but closed the gap to 99-90 early in the fourth quarter on Martin's 3-pointer. But Nene had two rebound baskets over the next two minutes to put the Nuggets ahead 105-92 and Allen Iverson's jumper made it 109-94 with 4:48 left.

Sacramento went on a 12-2 run to close within 111-106 with 1:42 left, but Nene made six free throws to secure the win.

Notes

  • Sacramento and the Nuggets split the four-game season series to the Nuggets.
  • The Kings are 5-15 on the second night of back-to-back games.
  • John Salmons (2,003) reached 2,000-point plateau for his career with four points.
  • Nuggets coach George Karl returned to the bench after missing a game to attend to family matters.
  • Camby blocked Martin's shot and sent him to the floor hard early in the first quarter.
  • F Eduardo Najera has missed five of the last seven games.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Denver's Carmelo Anthony records 31 points, his fourth straight 30-point game.  (Getty Images)
Denver's Carmelo Anthony records 31 points, his fourth straight 30-point game. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Sacramento (30-44) 25252936115
Denver (38-36) «33382425120
SAC:R. Artest 32 Pts
SAC:J. Williams 13 Reb
SAC:M. Bibby 9 Ast
DEN:C. Anthony 31 Pts
DEN:Nene 12 Reb
DEN:A. Iverson 10 Ast
Players of the Game
DenverSacramento

Nene

R. Artest
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
281233243

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Sacramento
R. Artest, SF4111-247-743432
K. Martin, SG399-176-924026
M. Bibby, PG375-171-259414
S. Abdur-Rahim, C286-132-4123214
B. Miller, C242-40-03234
F. Garcia, SG234-50-14638
J. Williams, PF233-72-213158
J. Salmons, SF162-32-20366
R. Price, PG81-50-01033
V. Potapenko, CDid Not Play
C. Williamson, PFDid Not Play
K. Thomas, PFDid Not Play
Q. Douby, PGDid Not Play
Totals 43-9520-27443130115
 45.3%74.1% 
Denver
A. Iverson, PG426-134-7510016
C. Anthony, SF3610-2010-1284531
Nene, PF359-1310-13123528
M. Camby, C346-113-4112115
S. Blake, PG322-70-01824
L. Kleiza, SF253-72-23049
J. Smith, SG225-122-322416
R. Evans, PF140-01-26221
D. Johnson, SFDid Not Play
K. Martin, PFDid Not Play
E. Najera, PFDid Not Play
J. Sampson, CDid Not Play
Y. Diawara, SGDid Not Play
Totals 41-8332-43483123120
 49.4%74.4% 
Other Games
Tor 111 Final
Orl 108
Char 108 Final
Wash 100
Atl 86 Final
NJ 101
Phi 92 Final
NY 90
Chi 106 Final
Det 88
Sea 92 Final
NO 101
Bos 89 Final
Mil 98
GS 110 Final
Hou 99
Utah 89 Final
Port 94
LAL 82 Final
LAC 90