Tuesday, January 06, 2009
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Nuggets: Anthony has 'probable' fracture in hand

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[January 06, 2009]  DENVER (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and had a season-high nine assists despite suffering a "probable" fracture in his right hand in the Denver Nuggets' 135-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

The team, which described the injury as a "probable" fracture, said it doesn't know how much time Anthony will miss. He's going to see a specialist Tuesday.

RestaurantAnthony injured his hand when the ball was slapped away early in the third quarter. He continued playing, but frequently grabbed at his hand. He had the Nuggets trainer check it out a few times when play stopped and then left for good late in the fourth quarter.

"It's sore and stiff right now," said Anthony, whose hand was numb for most of the second half.

Kenyon Martin scored 25 points and Chauncey Billups scored 13 of his 24 points in the final quarter for the Nuggets, who have now won four in a row. They set a season-high in points against the Pacers. Their previous best was 132 against Toronto in early December.

Denver is 24-12 after 36 games, matching the Nuggets' best start since their first year in the NBA in 1976-77.

Danny Granger had 36 points, the most scored against the Nuggets this season. He's now scored 30 or more points 10 times this season.

Troy Murphy added 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Jarrett Jack contributed 17.


Denver led by as many as 20 points early in the game, only to see the Pacers tie it at 80 on Granger's layup in the third quarter. Anthony restored the lead on a 10-foot turnaround jumper the next time down the court, and the Nuggets wouldn't relinquish the advantage.

They outscored the Pacers 38-23 in the final quarter.

The All-Star forward missed three games last month with a bruised right elbow.

Billups added 11 assists and went 8-for-8 from the line.

There was plenty of chirping at the officials in the first half as Jim O'Brien, Linas Kleiza, Anthony and George Karl all drew technicals for arguing.

O'Brien's rant late in the first quarter sparked the Pacers, who got off to a sluggish start, falling into a 20-point hole.

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Indiana rallied to pull to 74-70 at halftime. Granger led the surge, scoring 26 first-half points, tying him with Memphis rookie O.J. Mayo for the most points in a half against Denver this season.

With his second 3-pointer of the first half, J.R. Smith moved into fourth on the Nuggets" all-time list, passing Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (371). Smith finished with 10 points.

The Pacers may soon have Mike Dunleavy back on the court, possibly even Wednesday at Phoenix.

Dunleavy has been out all season with a right knee injury. O'Brien said Dunleavy's minutes will be closely monitored once he returns.

Notes: The Nuggets picked up a future second-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday for Cheikh Samb and cash considerations. Samb arrived Denver on Nov. 3 with Billups and Antonio McDyess for Allen Iverson. Samb has been playing in the NBA Development League. ... The Pacers kicked off a season-long five-game road trip against Denver. ... Pacers G T.J. Ford, bothered by a sore lower back, suited up but didn't play. ... Indiana G Marquis Daniels strained his left groin in the first half and didn't return. He finished with two points.

[Associated Press; By PAT GRAHAM]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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