Anthony hobbles back to N.Y. after loss in Denver

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The place Carmelo Anthony once called home turned into a house of horrors for the All-Star forward and the New York Knicks.
Anthony scored just nine points in his first game in Denver since being traded to New York, and the Nuggets routed the Knicks 117-94 on Wednesday night.
Anthony, hobbled by an ailing right knee, shot 3-for-12 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range. He played the first 2:15 of the third quarter before coming out of the game for good. He will return to New York to have his knee drained while the Knicks continue their road trip in Portland on Tuesday.
"I think it was just time for me to give it time to get to the bottom of it," Anthony said. "I'm going to get it drained. At this point, that's all it is, getting it drained. I was being naive to myself and trying to psyche myself out, saying, 'I can do it, I can do it.' It just comes to a point you have to figure it out."
Wilson Chandler scored 24 points and Danilo Gallinari had 16 for the Nuggets, who have won 10 straight overall and 14 in a row at home.
Denver (44-22) moved within a game of the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth seed in the Western Conference with the win. The Nuggets remain 1 1/2 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies, who beat the Clippers on Wednesday.
"I like my team," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "This team is maturing in front of us. I think the realization is defense will be the key. Offensively, we find ways to score."
The Nuggets kept pace with a dominating performance against a bevy of former teammates, none more recognizable than Anthony.
Anthony got a cold reception from a building that used to loudly cheer his name. He averaged 24.5 points in more than seven seasons with Denver, but the crowd was clearly angry at him for forcing a trade to the Knicks two years ago.
He was booed when his name was called during the starting lineups and then again the first few times he touched the ball. He wasn't able to silence the crowd, suffering through another poor shooting effort.
"It wasn't too bad," Anthony said of his reception. "They were supposed to cheer for their team and boo the New York Knicks. They did what they were supposed to do."
In the second quarter, all of the Knicks went cold, and the Nuggets took advantage. The Knicks (38-24) missed nine straight shots and went 7:22 without a bucket, and the Nuggets capitalized with a 25-3 run to take a 58-33 lead late in the half.
"We got the perfect lineup in. They tried to open the court up with Melo at the (power forward), and we have a pretty good lineup for that," Denver's Andre Iguodala said. "When Wilson comes in, we're able to run. Probably every position we can outrun them."
Things got worse for New York when center Tyson Chandler suffered a left knee contusion on a collision under the Knicks bucket with 1:28 left in the second quarter. Chandler bumped into Corey Brewer and his knee buckled. He was helped to the locker room and did not return. The good news is he will stay with the team and is probable for Thursday's game against the Trail Blazers.
Denver's lead grew to 34 after two 3-pointers by Ty Lawson and another by Iguodala early in the third quarter.
"In the first quarter, it was a five-, six-point game and then they started pounding us," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We gave up too many buckets at the rim. They were pushing it, and we were terrible in getting back."
With the game in hand, the crowd started chanting "Who needs Melo?" in the final minutes.
"I think it's time to let everything go. It was probably too long in getting (his return game) here," Karl said. "There's a portion that's going to dislike Melo, and there's a portion that's going to love Melo, but the majority of people hopefully are excited about the team we have at hand."
NOTES: Iman Shumpert led the Knicks with a season-high 20 points. ... The Nuggets have shot better than 50 percent eight times during their 10-game winning streak. ... In the 157 games prior to trading Anthony, the Nuggets were 99-58. In the 157 games since, they are 100-57. ... Karl praised Tyson Chandler's play on the pick-and-roll, saying he's one of the best in the league. "I still think Tim Duncan is the best," Karl said. "Chandler does so many cute, little things that makes his team win games. As much as it is Melo, Raymond Felton, J.R. (Smith), you have to remember they have Jason Kidd and Chandler that just know how to win games." ... In the first quarter, the Nuggets showed highlights on the jumbo screen of all the former Denver players now on the Knicks -- Anthony, Smith, Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin. ... Gallinari's 3-pointer with 3:28 left in the first quarter was the 500th of his career.

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