Carmelo Anthony might ultimately still be traded to the New York Knicks, which appears to be his wish, and it might be that the Nuggets simply want to drive up the price.
But when word got out Tuesday that the Los Angeles Lakers have jumped into trade talks with an offer of center Andrew Bynum (and others) for Anthony (and others), the decibel level rose noticeably around the NBA.
The Nuggets undoubtedly don't want to keep Anthony in the Western Conference, but Bynum is an intriguing player. Yes, he's been hurt a lot, but he's also 7-foot-1 and he's only 23 years old. The problem with the Knicks deal has been that the Nuggets wouldn't get that much in return -- certainly no one anywhere close to Anthony's ability. Bynum is a different story, which is why the Lakers rumor appears to have some traction.
--Forward Carmelo Anthony tied his career high with 50 points Monday. But he would have given it all back for a win.
The Nuggets lost to Houston 108-103. It was their second straight home loss, dropping their mark at the Pepsi Center to 21-7.
"The shot felt good. Just attacking the rim and trying to get some baskets," Anthony said. "The jump shot was falling and opening up guys to the rack. But 50 don't mean nothing. I'd give it back."
Anthony had to pick up plenty of offense. The Nuggets were without center Nene, their third-leading scorer, because of a sinus infection and chest congestion, and guard Chauncey Billups, their second-leading scorer, was lost for the night because of a left knee strain suffered late in the first quarter.
"It was tough," Anthony sad. "We didn't have Chauncey and Nene."
Anthony had first set his career high with 50 on Nov. 27, 2009 against New York. The Knicks are the team many believe Anthony will be dealt to by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
Anthony shot 16-of-24 from the field and 16-of-18 from the foul line. He found time to pull down 11 rebounds and block three shots. Anthony didn't have an assist, but that was understandable given the absences of Nene and Billups.
"Melo was the only horse we had in the flow, and we weren't passing the ball well enough create an energy that would build any confidence," said Nuggets coach George Karl.
ROCKETS 108, NUGGETS 103: The Nuggets lost because they didn't get a lot of support from players other than Carmelo Anthony and Ty Lawson. Anthony tied his career high with 50 points, and Lawson scored 19. But the rest of the Nuggets combined for just 34 points, with nobody getting more than 10. Houston frustrated the Nuggets by leading the entire second half. The Rockets were led by 37 points from guard Kevin Martin.
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