Denver 110, Portland 93

DENVER, Nov. 14 (AP) -- The Denver Nuggets want to be dominant at home this season.

Playing teams on the second game of a back-to-back is helping their cause.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points, Allen Iverson added 20 and the Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-93 Wednesday night.

Kenyon Martin scored a season-high 14 points, and Marcus Camby had 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who won their fourth straight after dropping their previous three.

"It ain't easy coming in at 2:30, 3 o'clock in the morning, and then come in and run in this altitude,'' Martin said. "It ain't easy for us to do it, so it's harder for teams who don't play in altitude on a regular basis.''

Last season, the Nuggets (6-3) were 23-19 at home, a mark they felt cost them a higher playoff seed. They've started 3-1 at home this year, with two of those wins against teams playing their second game in two nights.

"We looked like we had heavy legs,'' said Portland coach Nate McMillan, whose team beat Detroit on Tuesday night before flying to Denver. "Our shots were short. I don't think Brandon Roy's first two shots even hit the rim.''

The Nuggets pushed the pace from the beginning and used a strong defense to wear down the Trail Blazers. Portland shot 39 percent from the field, and Roy, who came in averaging 20.6 points, was held to 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Jarret Jack scored 13 points as the Trail Blazers (4-4) had their four-game win streak snapped.

"Our defense is allowing us to get out on the open court,'' Anthony said. "We don't want to play five-on-five basketball. We know if it's five-on-five, I'm going to get double-teamed.''

The Nuggets held Portland to 35 percent shooting in the second quarter, when they built a 52-38 halftime lead.

"Defensively, I think we made our presence felt,'' Iverson said. "We were able to rebound the basketball and get out. When we rebound or get steals or get our hands on a lot of balls, then we are tough to beat because we get a chance to run out and make things happen.''

The Nuggets took control of the game in the second quarter, and Martin's play was a key reason. Martin had two steals, a block and a dunk in a 49-second stretch when the Nuggets took a 43-29 lead.

"Kenyon had his best performance of the year,'' Nuggets coach George Karl said.

Martin missed all but two games last season after microfracture surgery on his right knee, and his minutes have been limited as he builds up his strength. He says he's feeling better every game.

"The more games go by, more minutes, I'm being more consistent,'' he said.

The Nuggets were never challenged in the second half. Iverson scored 10 points in the third quarter as the Nuggets increased their advantage to 78-61. They opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run to run their lead to 23.

Martell Webster's basket and Jack's 3-pointer cut Denver's lead to 84-66, but two jumpers by Anthony pushed the lead to 88-66 with 8:58 remaining, and the tired Trail Blazers had no answer.

"It has an effect,'' Jack said of playing back-to-back games. "It's even worse because of the altitude. You can't get used to the altitude in a couple of hours time. That's asking too much.''

Portland led early, 10-9, but the Nuggets scored the next eight points and never trailed after that. The Trail Blazers got within two points late in the first quarter, but the Nuggets' lead never dipped below double digits after Anthony's 21-foot jumper made it 39-29 with 4:30 left in the first half.

Notes: Portland C Greg Oden traveled with the team to Denver. Oden, the No. 1 pick in the June draft, had microfracture surgery on his right knee in the preseason and is out for the year. It is the first time he has traveled with the team this season. ... Nuggets G Mike Wilks (right hamstring) returned to the lineup after missing the last five games. ... The Nuggets were 1-for-13 from behind the 3-point line. Their only 3-pointer was by Wilks with 59 seconds left in the game.


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