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Anthony dominates Bobcats as Nuggets win second straight

Nov 13, 2006 - 1:46 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony has the Denver Nuggets headed in the right direction.

Anthony scored 36 points as the Nuggets held on for a 108-101 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.

It was the second straight victory for Denver, which opened the season with three consecutive losses.

"I think we're doing good defensively in some areas," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "In the fourth quarter, I thought we got cautious and conservative and soft because we had the lead. You should play the same way all the time. We didn't do that."

Anthony poured in 10 points in the opening quarter and never looked back, shooting 13-of-22 from the floor and 10-of-11 from the line.

"I'm just happy that we're winning right now and that our chemistry is starting to come around," Anthony said. "We just had to get the chemistry down pat, and now I think we're headed somewhere."

Andre Miller had 17 points and 11 assists and J.R. Smith scored 17 points for the Nuggets, who have recorded both of their wins this season without injured forward Kenyon Martin.

"I think it was a big win for us," Smith said. "We really needed this one. We're trying to go 4-0 on this road trip. We got open shots tonight and we were able to make them. We were running in transition like we were planning on doing and we were really able to execute tonight."

Denver took the lead for good on Anthony's layup just over one minute into the second quarter and led by as many as 15 points in the second half.

However, the game followed an eerily similar script for the Nuggets, who squandered fourth-quarter leads in each of their three losses. Denver appeared primed for the same fate Sunday, but Anthony came through down the stretch, making all five of his free throws in the fourth quarter.

"I just feel comfortable and confident right now," he said. "Once I get going and my team gets going, it's pretty hard to stop us. I'm feeling real good about my game."

Reserve forward Reggie Evans did an excellent job filling in for Martin, who is out indefinitely with a sore right knee. In just 19 minutes, Evans collected 12 points and seven rebounds to complement center Marcus Camby, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"Reggie's just got to be Reggie," Evans said. "I bring a lot of energy off of the bench, and that's what they expect - energy and rebounds."

Emeka Okafor scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while Brevin Knight added 21 and seven assists for the Bobcats, who lost their third straight contest despite owning a 49-36 edge on the glass.

"I don't know where the energy was," said Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who committed a franchise-record 29 turnovers. "You can't win basketball games with 29 turnovers and by not taking advantage of the opportunities you have when you have numbers. We can't feel sorry for ourselves because we're doing it to ourselves."

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