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Anthony's big performance lifts Nuggets past Wizards

Feb 9, 2008 - 7:11 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony's career night was just too much for the struggling Washington Wizards to overcome.

Anthony scored a career-high 49 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 111-100 victory over the Wizards on Friday night.

The All-Star forward made 19-of-25 shots from the field and dished out eight assists while fellow All-Star Allen Iverson contributed 18 points and 11 assists for Denver, which picked up its fourth win in its last five games.

"This feels good, especially after the hard-fought loss against Utah the other night," Anthony said. "I just wanted to get out of the gate tonight and they played me straight up until the end. This was a good win."

Anthony attempted to reach the 50-point plateau for the first time in his career, but was double-teamed by Washington's defense in the closing seconds.

"I wanted to play the game out," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "I guess Washington really didn't want him to score 50 tonight. (Anthony) was just great, though."

The 23-year-old forward's previous career high was 45 against the Philadelphia 76ers in December 2005.

"I was happy for him," said Iverson of Anthony. "I've never had a teammate score so many points. He made it easy on me. I was just out there being a fan tonight."

Despite having five players score in double figures, the Wizards failed to avoid a season-high sixth straight loss.

"We made a couple of runs at the end of the game," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "I like the way our bench performed. We have to control the game and manage the game a little better, though."

Antawn Jamison scored 21 points to lead Washington, which once again was without All-Star forward Caron Butler, who missed his fifth game in the previous seven with a nagging left hip-flexor strain.

"They have a high-powered offense," Jamison said. "They got a lot of easy baskets in transition and we could never get back, but we continued to fight."

The Nuggets led for nearly the entire game, jumping out to a 30-16 lead after the first quarter as Anthony scored 20 points, missing just one of his nine shots from the field in the opening period.

Denver extended its lead to 19 points with just over nine minutes left in the second quarter on a jumper by Linas Kleiza, but the Wizards went on a 25-15 run to narrow the deficit to 56-47 entering the locker rooms.

Washington trailed by only six points with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter before Denver ended the quarter on a 26-16 run to carry an 88-72 lead into the final period.

The Wizards tried to mount a comeback in the fourth but, despite outscoring the Nuggets by five points in the final period, they suffered their eighth loss in their last 10 games.

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