Tuesday, April 20, 2010
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Anthony, Nuggets bounce back to top Blazers 109-92

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[April 20, 2010]  DENVER (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Denver Nuggets rebound from a tough week to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-92 on Thursday night.

Nene added 22 points and Chauncey Billups had 21 for the Nuggets, who won for only the second time in seven games. Denver dropped from second to fifth in the Western Conference playoff race during the slump.

Andre Miller scored 24 points to lead Portland, which had won its previous four games, including a victory over New York on Wednesday that clinched a playoff spot for the Trail Blazers.

Martell Webster added 17 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 for the Blazers, who lost for the 13th time in their last 14 games in Denver. Portland's only win in that span came on Dec. 16, 2007.

Brandon Roy's 3-pointer with 3:31 left in the third quarter pulled the Trail Blazers, who trailed by one at the break, to 74-72. But the Nuggets scored 13 of the next 17 points, capped by Billups' 3-pointer, to take an 87-76 lead into the final period.

With Anthony beginning the fourth with successive baskets, the second followed by a free throw to complete a three-point play, the Nuggets built a 92-78 cushion with 9:23 remaining, their biggest lead to that point. The Trail Blazers pulled to 94-86 on a pair of free throws by Roy with 6:32 left before the Nuggets pulled away again.

Leading 27-24 after the first quarter, Denver opened a 44-35 lead midway through the second with a 17-5 flurry fueled by a series of highlight reel baskets by J.R. Smith. The Nuggets' sixth man had eight of his 15 points in the run, including a rim-shaking dunk off Anthony Carter's alley-oop pass and a three-point play that began when he muscled in a driving reverse layup with Jerryd Bayless draped around him.

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The spectacular shots had the crowd roaring but Portland was unfazed, outscoring the Nuggets 16-8 in the last 3:37 of the quarter and pulling to 56-55 when Camby hit at 11-foot jumper as the halftime buzzer sounded.

Nuggets forward Chris Andersen injured his left ankle when he landed awkwardly trying to block a lay-up by Miller with 7:22 remaining in the game. Andersen limped off the court and did not return, but X-rays were negative.

NOTES: Denver improved to 15-2 at home when playing against a team that is in town finishing a back-to-back set. ... The Trail Blazers had entered with wins in nine of their previous 12 road games. ... Denver is 21-7 overall against Portland since the 2003-04 season. ... Webster fouled out in the waning minutes of the game. ... Anthony had nine turnovers.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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