Denver 168, Seattle 116

DENVER, March 16 (AP) -- Kenyon Martin couldn't believe the box score, so he doesn't expect anybody else to, either.

"A lot of people are going to think it's a misprint,'' Martin said. "A lot of people will think there's no way they scored that many points. It's unbelievable. There are no words for it.''

The Nuggets set NBA season highs for points in a half with 84 and points in a game with a 168-116 rout of the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday night. Denver set a franchise record for most points in a regulation game and fell just 16 points shy of the franchise record for points in a game.

"There was no way that I couldn't enjoy the game, not from the way we played offensively, Nuggets coach George Karl said.''

The Nuggets had eight players score in double figures, led by Carmelo Anthony's 26 and Allen Iverson's 24. Martin had 23 points and Marcus Camby had a triple-double with 13 points, 15 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists.

Still, the only thing the players could talk about was the 168 points they scored in a franchise-record 52-point win.

"I've never been a part of a game like this where we won by so many points and scored so many points,'' Camby said. "This is definitely a game I'm going to keep in my archives.''

Seattle would rather forget this one. After giving up 138 points to Denver in a 42-point loss on Feb. 27 - which was also the previous high for points in the NBA this season - the SuperSonics had no chance to redeem themselves Sunday. They gave up an NBA season-high 48 points in the first quarter and trailed by 19 after the first 12 minutes.

It didn't get any better in the second. Denver eclipsed Phoenix's record of 80 points in a half with 1:31 left before the break, and at halftime the Nuggets led by 26. They led by as many as 55 in the fourth quarter.

"We just lost tonight. We lost by a lot,'' said Seattle forward Chris Wilcox, who had 17 points. "That's just something you're going to have to look back on. It's just something you're going to have to live with.''

Seattle isn't the only team that has been routed by Denver this week. The Nuggets finished this homestand with three blowout victories. They beat Memphis by 22 Wednesday night and the Raptors by 32 Friday night.

Sunday, they used the same formula to rout the Sonics. They shared the ball and hit open shots, and for the second straight game the starters were on the bench in the fourth quarter and let the reserves play mop-up time.

"It's hard to beat a team when you get 44 assists and making the extra pass,'' Martin said. "It's tough to beat a team when you play like we did tonight.''

Now the trick for Denver is to keep it going. The Nuggets are 40-26 but trail Golden State by 1 1/2 games for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They start a five-game road trip in Detroit on Tuesday and hope to continue their strong play against the defensive-minded Pistons while trying to comprehend Sunday's win.

"Like the Rockets winning 22 straight, it's unheard of on this level,'' Martin said. "Scoring 168 points in regulation is unheard of. Hopefully we can take what we did these last three games at home onto the road trip.''

Seattle has to regroup after suffering its 51st loss of the season in an embarrassing fashion.

"We get beat that badly, there's no excuse for that,'' Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "It matters a lot because we're professionals and we're trying to compete - and we didn't compete tonight.''

Notes: The Nuggets' franchise record for points came in a 186-184 triple-overtime loss to Detroit on Dec. 13, 1983. ... The previous team record for regulation points was 163 against San Antonio on Jan. 11, 1984. ... The Nuggets are tied for the fourth-best start in franchise history and their best start since 1987-88. ... The Nuggets set an NBA record with 49 fast-break points, breaking the previous mark of 48 set by Toronto on Jan. 12, 2003. ... Kevin Durant led the Sonics with 23 points.


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