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Anthony scores 29 as Nuggets complete sweep of Bucks

Feb 11, 2007 - 5:33 AM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony continued to show his appreciation for a second chance to play in the All-Star Game.

Anthony scored 29 points and collected 10 assists and Nene added 17 with 11 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets won for just the third time in 10 games with a 106-102 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The league's leading scorer, Anthony was named as an injury replacement for the Western Conference All-Star roster Friday and scored 34 points hours later as the Nuggets topped the Indiana Pacers.

"I told my teammates we've got to have fun, put all the injuries behind us and have fun," Anthony said. "That's what I've been doing, having fun and not trying to put pressure on myself."

"The last couple of games, he (is) making his jump shots," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He's closer to 50 percent (shooting). I think making the All-Star Game has relaxed him a little bit and I think he's enjoying the game a little more. He can celebrate being an All-Star and being the horse of this team."

After Denver took a 99-92 lead with 3:54 left in this one, former Nugget Ruben Patterson made a layup and Brian Skinner converted a three-point play with 2:53 to play as the Bucks cut the deficit to 99-97.

Anthony followed with his own three-point play before another former Nugget, Earl Boykins, nailed a 3-pointer with 2:01 to go and another basket 40 seconds later to tie the score, 102-102.

However, Eduardo Najera hit a short jumper with 59 seconds remaining and Nene and Steve Blake combined to make 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

"What's happened the last couple weeks is defensively, we're thinking we can make stops," Karl said. "Tonight, when we lost the lead I don't think we were fearful of losing the game. We've had a little bit of lack of confidence or fear take over. It was a good win. Maybe we should ask for 82 on the road."

"All losses are deflating," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "I don't think we come away from any loss feeling really good. You look at the Detroit game, the Oklahoma City game and now tonight ... all of those games were there to be had."

Milwaukee led, 67-64, late in the third quarter before Denver closed the period on a 16-7 run. Anthony scored six consecutive points and J.R. Smith drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to help give Denver an 80-74 lead.

Anthony made 13-of-28 shots, Najera scored 15 points and Blake had 10 and 11 assists for Denver, which has won eight of the last nine encounters with the Bucks.

"I think we can focus a little more on the road," Anthony said of Denver's 12-10 road mark. "When you're at home, you've got your family and other distractions. I don't know what it is but we always seem to play good on the road."

Denver again played without Allen Iverson, who did not travel with the team because of a sprained right ankle. Marcus Camby did not play for the second straight night with flu-like symptoms.

Facing his former team for the first time since being traded to Milwaukee on January 11, Boykins came off the bench to hit 10-of-15 shots and scored 26 points. Charlie Bell and Mo Williams added 16 apiece for the Bucks.

"As an athlete, you can never be mentally beat down," Boykins said after the Bucks lost for the 17th time in 20 games. "I think you have to be mentally strong whether you win or lose. It's your job to go out there and have confidence before you step on the court."

"You know Earl was trying to kill us," Anthony said. "It was fun, though, seeing him back out there and playing against him. Deep down inside, he's probably mad or holds a little grudge."

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