Anthony Scores 42 As Nuggets Sink Bobcats
Denver 101, Charlotte 85
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 13 (Ticker) -- This looked like the Carmelo Anthony who carried Syracuse to a national title as a freshman.
Anthony scored a career-high 42 points as the Denver Nuggets pulled away from the Charlotte Bobcats, 101-85, handing the hosts an eighth straight defeat.
"I thought he played a really efficient, fantastic ballgame," Denver coach George Karl said of Anthony. "He was good passing and was good on defense at times. You win the game with your fourth-quarter defense as much as you do with Carmelo's offense."
It was the second 40-point game for Anthony in his last three contests.
"You just want to give him the ball," Denver guard Andre Miller said. "If he's got it going, we definitely want to run the offense through him and get him slicing to the basket. When he goes to the basket, he's not settling for jumpers and gets to the free-throw line."
Kenyon Martin, who was activated before the game, and reserve Earl Watson scored 13 points apiece for Denver, which shot 51 percent (37-of-72) and limited Charlotte to 42 percent (33-of-79).
Charlotte closed the third quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 74-72 edge into the final 12 minutes.
"We knew they would make a run, especially with them playing on their home court," Anthony said. "We just basically kept our composure. We have been in situations like that before, so we knew how to handle it."
The Bobcats held an 82-80 lead after a jumper by rookie Sean May with 7:58 remaining, but Watson responded with a 3-pointer to trigger a 12-0 run of its own, which Anthony ended with a pair of free throws with 4:57 remaining.
"They made the big shots," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "That's what NBA players do. The line Carmelo had is off the charts. He played like a superstar."
"I just thought (Carmelo) was great in the second half, because I don't think he forced anything," Karl said. "I thought he was very unselfish and he passed the ball as well as he scored. He didn't take a lot of shots. He just let the game happen."
The Bobcats were unable to make another run of their own and scored just three points in the final 7:58.
"We didn't play well at the end," Charlotte guard Brevin Knight said. "We competed well until the fourth quarter. They went on a big run and we didn't respond well. In this game, if you don't respond to a run you get run out of the building and that's what they did."
The Bobcats committed a season-high 26 turnovers, which led to 21 points for the Nuggets.
"We stopped their run by playing good defense," Martin said. "We also rebounded well by keeping them off the offensive boards. We also did a good job defensively by getting a lot of stops. Charlotte only scored 11 points in the fourth quarter."
Emeka Okafor collected 17 points and 12 rebounds and Knight had a season-high 16 assists for the Bobcats, who were missing swingman Gerald Wallace (sprained right index finger). It was the 13th double-double of the season for Okafor.
"The losing streak is nothing new," Bickerstaff said. "We kind of got acclimated to that last year. What we have to do is find a way to get out of it. I think if Emeka continues to play that way, then we'll get out of it. I don't have any reservations about that."