Magic
Nuggets
103 - 113 Final
  for this game

Anthony powers Nuggets over sliding Magic

Jan 12, 2008 - 6:35 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets continued to struggle defensively on Friday night. But their talented offensive attack was too much to handle for the Orlando Magic.

Carmelo Anthony collected 32 points and 11 rebounds as the Nuggets secured their fourth win in five games with a 113-103 victory over the Magic at the Pepsi Center.

Allen Iverson had 21 points and 13 assists and Anthony Carter also scored 21 for Denver, which finished the game on a 15-5 run to over come another sluggish defensive effort.

"Anthony Carter is doing a great job out there for us," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "His running game has improved a lot and he is helping us to get where we want to be."

The Nuggets, who now have allowed over 100 points seven times in their last nine games, are the sixth-worst defensive team in the NBA - surrendering nearly 104 points per contest entering Friday's play.

As a result, Denver had to lean on its high-scoring offense -led by superstars Anthony and Iverson - to hold off Orlando,which picked up just its seventh road loss in 23 games this season.

"Our guys fought hard against a very sound team on the road for three and a half quarters," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We didn't make enough plays but our guys played hard."

With the game tied, 98-98, Anthony ran out on the fast break, absorbed a foul and converted a tough layup to give the Nuggets the lead for good with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter. He missed the ensuing free throw.

"Our goal was to keep trying to wear them down," Anthony said. "We wanted to get out in the open court and run. Overall, I think we did a great job tonight."

That bucket started the game-ending spurt, which was highlighted by eight points from Carter and six from Anthony, whose two free throws made it 113-102 with 19 seconds left. Keith Bogans' foul shot for Orlando with 11 seconds remaining provided the final margin.

"Tonight it was a lot of A.C.," Iverson said of Carter. "He is the one who got us over the hump tonight. He has been big for us all year, though."

It was another strong performance by Anthony, who has settled for a secondary role behind Iverson this season. He shot 11-of-20 from the field, nailing both of his shots from the arc.

Iverson, who is the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, was 9-of-16 from the floor in a team-high 43 minutes for Denver, which lost forward Nene earlier Friday. He took a leave of absence for a personal medical reason.

"Everyone is hurt by the situation," Iverson said of Nene. "We're a family. Life's way more important than a game of basketball."

Rashard Lewis scored 21 points and Dwight Howard added 20 and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost four of their last five games.

"They hit a lot of tough shots and we couldn't recover," Howard said. "It was a tough game."