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New York at Denver

'Melo nets career-high 50 as Nuggets stay hot at home

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The last two points were the hardest for Carmelo Anthony.

With the game in the balance, the crowd chanting "MVP! MVP!" and Anthony's sights set on an offensive milestone, the Nuggets forward sank a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining to finish off a career-high, 50-point performance and help Denver beat the New York Knicks 128-125 Friday night.

"They might have been the two toughest free throws I've shot in a while," Anthony said. "We've got the game on the line, 50, you're right there and you want to get it. If I didn't say I wanted to get it, I'd be lying to you. I'm right there. But most importantly they were two big free throws."

He wasn't kidding. Every point the Nuggets scored -- Denver also got 32 from Chauncey Billups and 17 from J.R. Smith -- was crucial to holding off a Knicks team that got 41 points from Al Harrington, one shy of his career high.

"Usually, you would hope when you have a night like this, that you'd definitely win one," Harrington said. "We're just upset we couldn't come out on top."

The problem was Anthony's night was just a little better.

"He's got the total package right now," Harrington said. "He's hitting 3s, he's hitting mid-range, he can get to the free throw line whenever he wants. When you play against a guy that's going like that, there's nothing you can really do. I think our guys did a pretty good job, because if they didn't he would have had 70."

Billups said Anthony had the hot hand, and the Nuggets went with it.

"'Melo is one of the best players in the world," Billups said. "If you've got him going like that, then you've got to ride him."

Anthony is the only player in the NBA who has scored at least 20 points in each of his games this season.

"I thought we really competed tonight, and Carmelo really got into a zone, and J.R. Smith and Chauncey and those guys got away from us," said Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni. "Give them credit, but I liked our effort."

David Lee added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost their fourth straight.

Anthony scored 13 points in the third quarter, helping the Nuggets take a 92-87 lead into the final period. The Knicks remained within striking distance, tying it at 100 with 7:56 left when Chris Andersen was called for goaltending on Nate Robinson's short jump hook.

Neither team was able to seize a decisive edge, though.

Smith and Wilson Chandler traded 3-pointers in one sequence that left the Nuggets up 110-107. The Knicks scored the next four points, moving in front 111-110 on Lee's dunk off a feed from Larry Hughes with 3:35 remaining.

That would be the Knicks' final lead.

Anthony hit a pair of free throws and Smith made his third 3-pointer of the period to give the Nuggets a 115-111 lead.

A three-point play by Harrington brought the Knicks within 123-120 with 38 seconds left, but Billups answered with a reverse layup.

Chandler hit a 3-pointer before Anthony converted a pair of free throws to help the Nuggets withstand the Knicks charge. Harrington added a basket late but Smith made one of two free throws and the Hughes couldn't get a shot off in the final seconds after taking a pass from Robinson.

"Nate usually shoots that, so I think it kind of caught Larry off guard and he couldn't get his feet underneath him quick enough to get the shot off," Harrington said.

Notes

  • The Nuggets' last regular-season loss at the Pepsi Center was to Houston, 97-95 on March 9.
  • Knicks guard Chris Duhon limped off the court at halftime after turning his ankle taking a last-second shot, but he returned to play in the second half.
  • Anthony's previous scoring high was 49 points. He's the first Nuggets player to reach 50 since Allen Iverson did it with 51 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 5, 2007.
Copyright 2014 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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Carmelo Anthony adds to his NBA scoring lead, dropping a career-high 50.  (Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony adds to his NBA scoring lead, dropping a career-high 50. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
New York (3-13) 30302738125
Denver (12-4) «26353136128
NY:A. Harrington 41 Pts
NY:D. Lee 10 Reb
NY:L. Hughes 9 Ast
DEN:C. Anthony 50 Pts
DEN:Nene 11 Reb
DEN:C. Billups 8 Ast
Players of the Game
DenverNew York

C. Anthony

A. Harrington
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
506541101
New York
W. Chandler, SF415-120-024512
C. Duhon, PG374-101-126212
L. Hughes, SG346-131-269216
D. Lee, PF328-117-8104523
D. Gallinari, SF182-100-04114
A. Harrington, PF3814-249-13101441
J. Jeffries, PF212-32-55236
N. Robinson, PG194-92-212311
D. Milicic, PFDid Not Play
T. Douglas, PGDid Not Play
J. Hill, PFDid Not Play
E. Curry, CDid Not Play
M. Landry, PFDid Not Play
C. Mobley, SGDid Not Play
Totals 45-9222-31402925125
 48.9%71.0% 
Denver
C. Anthony, SF4617-2815-1665550
K. Martin, PF384-110-011168
C. Billups, PG379-1710-1448232
Nene, PF364-71-211529
A. Afflalo, SG202-40-00245
J. Smith, SG256-111-232217
C. Andersen, PF222-31-15145
T. Lawson, PG161-30-03602
J. Graham, SFDid Not Play
J. Petro, CDid Not Play
R. Balkman, PFDid Not Play
A. Carter, PGDid Not Play
M. Allen, PFDid Not Play
Totals 45-8428-35433025128
 53.6%80.0% 
Other Games
Wash 94 Final
Mia 84
Atl 100 Final
Phi 86
Cle 87 Final
Char 94
Tor 103 Final
Bos 116
LAC 104 Final
Det 96
Dal 113 Final
Ind 92
SA 92 Final
Hou 84
Mil 90 Final
OKC 108
Pho 120 Final
Min 95
Mem 106 Final
Port 96
NJ 96 Final
Sac 109