Anthony and the Nuggets look to bounce back from their first loss in two weeks and gain a small measure of revenge against the Minnesota Timberwolves when the teams meet at the Target Center on Friday.
Despite another outstanding performance from Anthony, the Nuggets (8-5) had their five-game win streak snapped Tuesday with a 108-96 loss to visiting Memphis.
Anthony matched season highs with 37 points and nine rebounds to go along with seven assists, but didn’t get much support from his teammates as Denver had its second-lowest scoring output of the season.
Andre Miller had a season-high 13 assists and Marcus Camby added 14 points and 10 boards for the Nuggets, who suffered their largest margin of defeat this season. They were held to 16 fourth-quarter points and shot 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the free- throw line.
The defeat ended Denver’s 17-game home win streak against the Grizzlies, who are tied for the league’s worst record and are playing without star forward Pau Gasol.
“We just didn’t play Nugget basketball,” coach George Karl said. “We didn’t create any running game, and against a team that executes pretty well, we let them execute.”
Anthony, named Western Conference player of the week Monday, has scored 30 or more in 10 of his last 11 games and is second in the NBA with 31.5 points per contest.
“We got complacent with our lead,” Anthony said. “We stopped attacking. We didn’t have (intensity) tonight. I (saw) it during warmups. We were just out there.”
Anthony, obviously, is the key to any success Denver will have this season, but the continued health of Camby is also a big factor.
Camby, who played more than 66 games only once in his first 10 seasons, is among the NBA leaders in rebounds (11.2), double-doubles (9) and blocks (2.5).
“I need to not only be out there in games, but in practice,” Camby told the Denver Post. “Being a captain and leader of this team, guys have to see me out there in practice and in the game.”
The Timberwolves (6-8) spoiled the Nuggets’ home opener with a 112-109 victory on Nov. 3 behind 27 points and 15 rebounds from Kevin Garnett.
Minnesota was swept in a two-game trip to Texas, losing 93-87 to red-hot Dallas on Monday before falling 82-75 to Houston on Tuesday.
Garnett recorded his league-leading 12th double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Rockets, but a fourth-quarter comeback for the second straight game couldn’t prevent the Timberwolves from falling to 2-6 on the road.
“It shows the positive things, that we’re pretty good in the fourth quarter,” Garnett said. “Randy’s (Foye) aggressive. We have a unit in there that’s pretty good. The cohesiveness between everybody is pretty strong.”
Tuesday marked Garnett’s 336th consecutive game in double figures, the ninth-longest streak in league history. He’s two away from tying his own record of 338, set between Oct. 1997-Feb. 2002.
Minnesota signed shooting guard Mike James to a four-year, $23 million contract in the offseason to help ease the sizable burden on Garnett, but he has struggled after getting off to a fast start.
James is averaging 10.8 points per game after posting a career-high 20.3 with Toronto last season, and is 6-for-21 from the field in his past four games.
Denver has won two of its last three games in Minneapolis after dropping six straight at the Target Center.