Indiana (20-41) at Denver (40-21)

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  • Game info: 9:00 pm EST Fri Mar 5, 2010
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After receiving intravenous fluids before the Denver Nuggets’ last game, Carmelo Anthony(notes) had one of his better offensive performances in the last two weeks before enjoying some extra rest on the bench.

Anthony hopes he has turned around some recent health problems as he and the Nuggets host the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

Following two road losses, Denver (40-21) returned home and improved to 26-5 at the Pepsi Center with a 119-90 win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Anthony finished with 30 points in 32 minutes, scoring 23 in the first half, and the Nuggets held the red-hot Kevin Durant(notes) to 19 points.

Anthony, the NBA’s third-leading scorer at 28.6 points per game, was averaging 22.5 in the previous six contests and had shot below 40 percent in the last three. The All-Star forward said Wednesday that he’s been feeling run down since scoring 40 in a 118-116 overtime win at Cleveland on Feb. 18.

“I had some IVs because I’ve been under the weather,” Anthony said. “I just wasn’t feeling right. My body wasn’t right. My energy wasn’t right and it took me a week and a half to figure out that I was almost down to nothing. I was dehydrated. I was literally drained.”

Anthony has missed 13 games this season because of ankle and knee injuries.

After outscoring Oklahoma City 31-12 in the third quarter, Anthony and the rest of the starters were able to enjoy the fourth quarter from the sidelines. He and Kenyon Martin(notes) were the only Denver players to be on the court for more than 28 minutes.

Anthony could get some additional rest if the Nuggets can cruise to another easy victory over Indiana (20-41). Denver defeated the Pacers 111-93 on Nov. 3, with Anthony scoring 25 points in 29 minutes.

The Nuggets will have another opportunity to extend their home dominance when they face an Indiana team that has lost four straight on the road, including 102-79 to Portland on Wednesday. Danny Granger(notes) scored 30 points, but the Pacers were held to their fewest total since a 94-73 loss to Cleveland on Jan. 23.

“We didn’t play as a team is the only thing I can say,” center Roy Hibbert(notes) said. “We’ve been trying to figure it out all year.”

The Pacers have dropped nine of 11 and averaged 92.5 points in their last four road games while losing by double digits in the last three. They close this four-game road trip against teams from the Western Conference on Sunday versus Phoenix.

“It’s a tough road trip because they are all playoff teams but we have to come in with a better effort than we did tonight,” forward Troy Murphy(notes) said.

Granger, who scored 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting against Denver in November, finished with 36 in his last visit to the Pepsi Center as the Pacers lost 135-115 on Jan. 5, 2009.

Indiana has lost nine of the last 11 meetings with Denver after winning 24 of the previous 29 in the series.

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Friday, Mar 5