104 - 109 Final
  for this game

Anthony leads Nuggets over Clippers

Dec 4, 2010 - 7:02 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony finished a game for the first time in a week, scoring 26 points as the Denver Nuggets improved to 4-0 on their homestand with a 109-104 victory over the LA Clippers.

J.R. Smith added 21 points and Chauncey Billups had 17, including a pair of free throws down the stretch that iced a close game for the Nuggets.

Denver has won six games in a row overall and will look to close out a perfect five-game homestand Sunday against Memphis. The Nuggets have already beaten Chicago, Phoenix, Milwaukee and now the Clippers.

Eric Gordon had 24 points to lead the Clippers, who had a letdown after beating NBA-leading San Antonio on Wednesday.

Clippers star Blake Griffin scored 17 with 12 rebounds, but was fouled hard near the end of the game and got up clutching at his right shoulder.

Anthony was ejected for arguing in Wednesday's game against the Bucks and he pulled himself out against the Suns last Friday because of the stomach flu.

But he helped carry the Nuggets against LA despite shooting just 6-of-18 from the field. Anthony was 13-of-18 from the free throw line and Denver made 45 of its 59 foul shots as a team.

"We were just attacking tonight. The whistle was going our way early," Anthony said.

The Clippers took just 29 foul shots, hitting 20 in what was the real difference of an evenly-matched game.

"That says it all right there. Can't say anything else," said Griffin.

Still, the game was close.

Brian Cook's three-pointer with 6:11 remaining capped an 8-0 run and pulled the Clippers within a point at 89-88. The Nuggets responded with a 14-5 spurt and took their largest lead of the game after Smith drilled a three with 2:41 left to make it 103-93.

But LA clawed back, scoring eight of the next nine points and getting within three points on a pair of Gordon free throws.

Rasual Butler forced a steal and Cook had an open look at a three-pointer that could have tied the game for the Clippers, but he missed. Al Harrington made 1-of-2 free throws at the other end for a 105-101 Nuggets lead.

After Griffin was pulled to the ground, he also went 1-of-2 from the line to pull LA within three points again. Harrington missed two foul shots, opening the door for the Clippers, but Denver secured the ball and Billups went to the line.

The sure-handed veteran hit both foul shots, giving the Nuggets a 107-102 lead with 16.1 seconds left and all but icing the game. LA got two more foul shots from Cook, while Smith made a pair for Denver for the final margin.

The Nuggets shot 31 percent in the first quarter and trailed 29-25. They hovered around the same mark for the second quarter but carried a 49-48 lead into halftime.

Denver took an 81-77 lead into the fourth after Ty Lawson hit a 63-foot runner at the buzzer.

Game Notes

Nuggets head coach George Karl earned his 998th career win on the same day news surfaced that he and the team were discussing a contract extension...Denver won the game despite being outshot by LA 43 percent to 40...The Nuggets were also out-rebounded 46-42.