Carmelo Stays Hot as Nuggets Roll
Posted Nov 19 2006 1:39AM
Denver 117, Toronto 109
DENVER, Nov. 18 (AP) -- Alex English sped up his pace in order to catch up with Carmelo Anthony.
The Toronto Raptors assistant coach had something he wanted to tell Anthony.
``I told Carmelo that I hope he breaks all my records,'' English said after Denver's 117-109 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. ``He's that good of player.''
Anthony scored 34 for his sixth straight game of 30 or more points. It ties the club record set by English, the former Nuggets star, who scored 30 or more in six straight during the 1982-83 season.
One day soon English thinks he'll be congratulating Anthony on breaking his Nuggets scoring record of 21,645 points.
``Records are meant to be broken,'' English said. ``I hope he does it.''
Anthony didn't even know he'd tied English's mark.
``Did I?'' he said. ``He's a legend. I'm feeling good about my game right now.''
Teammate Joe Smith hasn't seen anything like the hot streak Anthony's on right now.
``He shows me a lot every night,'' Smith said.
Chris Bosh and T.J. Ford - Anthony's fellow classmates in the 2003 NBA draft - certainly showed the Nuggets something Saturday night. Ford finished with 26 points and a career-high 18 assists. Bosh had 31 points and nine rebounds.
``That's quite a duo,'' Smith said.
Ford had 13 assists at halftime. His previous high for a game was 14 against Philadelphia on Nov. 1, 2005, while with Milwaukee. The team record is 19 by Damon Stoudamire against Houston in 1996.
Yet Ford's personal record for assists didn't matter considering the Raptors' fifth straight loss.
``Once again, when it's time for us to make a big play, we come up short,'' Ford said. ``When someone makes a run in the fourth quarter, we have to keep our composure.''
The Raptors trimmed Denver's 12-point fourth-quarter lead to four, 113-109, with 42.5 seconds left, but Eduardo Najera's layup sealed Denver's first home victory of the season.
``There was a lot of good and a lot of bad,'' Denver coach George Karl said.
Even more, the Nuggets may have found someone to relieve some of the rebounding pressure caused by Kenyon Martin's season-ending right knee surgery. Joe Smith contributed 10 boards off the bench.
With Martin out and Nene missing his fourth straight game with a right knee contusion, the rebounds had to come from somewhere, and Smith figured it might as well be him.
``When I defend and rebound, I play,'' Smith said with a smile. ``I want to stay on the floor.''
Jorge Garbajosa recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
``T.J., Chris, Garbajosa, you can't ask for more out of them,'' Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. ``We had a lot of good things. We've just got to build on it.''
Anthony, who was 11-for-11 from the free-throw line, entered the game as the league's second-leading scorer. He's not ruling out the possibility of a scoring title, even just eight games into the season.
``Anything can happen,'' said Anthony, who hit two of his three 3-pointers in the final quarter. ``I'm just playing.''
Notes: Raptors F Kris Humphries, a game-time decision, played only 9:46 due to a sprained right ankle, but had six points. ... It's the first time this season the Raptors have played back-to-back nights. ... Andre Miller sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter, but came back to finish the game. He had 14 points. ... Rookie Yakhouba Diawara hit three 3-pointers Saturday night. He was 0-for-8 from that distance coming into the game. ... Denver's 117 points is a season-high.
Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited