Los Angeles (29-35) at Denver (33-30)

Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 49° F
  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Fri Mar 18, 2005
  • TV: FSW2, ALT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With Carmelo Anthony back in All-Star form, the surging Denver Nuggets look to continue their playoff push when they host the Los Angeles Clippers.

Anthony scored 25 points in 21 minutes as Denver bounced back from its first loss in nine games with a 120-101 win over the expansion Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday. For the second straight game, Anthony spent extensive time on the bench, but not for the same reason.

The 6-foot-8 forward sat out the final 17 minutes of Sunday’s 106-101 defeat to the Phoenix Suns after scoring just nine points on 20 percent shooting. Against the Bobcats, Anthony hit 10-of-16 shots, resting only after Denver put the game out of reach.

“Something to prove? No. When you try to prove something to somebody, it never works,” Anthony said. “I just wanted to go out, play basketball, continue doing what I was doing.”

The second-year star helped the Nuggets to their best offensive effort of the season. Denver also pulled 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Seven players scored in double figures as Denver reached the 120-point mark for the first time this season and tied a season high with 54 percent shooting from the field. It also had season highs in 3-pointers (10), field goals made (46), fast-break points (38) and established an NBA season high with 40 assists.

“It goes to show that, as a team, we’re capable of doing that—sharing the ball,” Anthony said. “When we want to be unselfish, we can be unselfish.”

Earl Boykins had 10 points and 11 assists and Marcus Camby, returning from a hamstring injury, finished with seven points and 12 rebounds. Kenyon Martin did not play because of tendinitis in his left knee and remains questionable for Friday’s game.

The Nuggets, who continue a season-high seven-game homestand, are 8-1 at home since George Karl took over for interim coach Michael Cooper on Jan. 28. Denver is 16-5 overall under Karl.

Corey Maggette shrugged off a sore left wrist and scored 31 points to lead the Clippers to a 110-102 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-6 swingman, who also tied a season high with eight assists, is averaging 26.7 points and nearly 53 percent shooting over his last seven games, helping Los Angeles to a 4-3 record in that span.

Elton Brand had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Chris Kaman added 16 points and 11 boards for the Clippers, who surpassed last season’s win total (28-54).

Los Angeles has lost nine of its last 10 road games, but has won three of its last four visits to the Pepsi Center.

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