Anthony and the Denver Nuggets will try to make it two straight wins over the Jazz this season when the teams square off at the Delta Center.
Anthony had 27 points in Denver’s 106-96 win over Utah at the Pepsi Center on Jan. 9, but was the subject of several hard fouls which resulted in run-ins with Jazz players.
“Everybody from the point guard to the big men were physical out there,” Anthony said. “That just boosts my energy up and makes me want to play even more physical.”
The rough play started in the second quarter, when Jarron Collins fouled Anthony hard and gave him an extra shove after the play. Raja Bell took over in the third quarter, fighting Anthony for position just about every trip down the court.
The two players had to be separated midway through the quarter after fighting for post position, then Bell elbowed Anthony in the throat while going after a rebound in the closing seconds.
Anthony’s teammates know the talented rookie is going to have his toughness tested by every team he faces this season.
“Everybody is going to take hits on him,” point guard Andre Miller said. “He just has to be ready for it.”
Anthony shot 12-of-17 from the floor and finished with 31 points in the Nuggets’ 88-80 win over Miami on Sunday.
Utah may not have enough healthy bodies to throw at Anthony.
The 7-foot-2 Ostertag was suspended one game earlier in the day along with Cleveland’s Zydrunas Ilgauskas for fighting on Saturday. He’ll be back in action against Denver.
Ruffin and Kirilenko are both day-to-day and will likely be back in action on Tuesday.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 18): Nuggets - 4th place (tied), 4 1/2 GB, Midwest Division. Jazz - 7th place, 6 1/2 GB, Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Nuggets - Anthony, 18.4 ppg; Camby, 9.3 rpg; Miller, 6.3 apg. Jazz - Kirilenko, 16.3 ppg; Ostertag, 8.4 rpg; Arroyo, 5.7 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Nuggets, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 9; Nuggets, 106-96. At Denver, Nene shot 9-of-10 and scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Nuggets.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Nuggets - 8-11 on the road; Jazz - 17-4 at home.