DENVER(AP) Reserve J.R. Smith scored 21 points, Chris Andersen grabbed 11 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-95 on Friday night in their preseason opener.

Allen Iverson had nine assists and Kenyon Martin added 13 points for Denver, before taking a seat on the bench to watch the final quarter.

Andersen also had 12 points, including a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Andersen, a fan favorite nicknamed "Birdman,'' was making his return to the Nuggets. He was reinstated by the NBA in early March after being kicked out on Jan. 27, 2006, for violating the league's drug policy. Andersen played five games for the New Orleans Hornets last season.

Denver (1-0) led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter, before the Timberwolves went on a late spurt, climbing within 13 points midway through the fourth. Andersen's 3-pointer put an end to the rally, and the Timberwolves' two-game preseason winning streak.

Al Jefferson grabbed 11 rebounds and scored 10 points for Minnesota (2-1), while Corey Brewer had 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Rookie Kevin Love turned in a nine-point, 11-rebound game, while reserve Blake Ahearn finished with 17 points and Randy Foye chipped in 16.

Minnesota's Craig Smith sat out with a sore right knee.

The Nuggets were without Carmelo Anthony, who bruised his left ring finger in practice Thursday when he had the ball slapped out of his hand. Anthony had the hand wrapped in a bandage at a shootaround Friday, but the team said X-rays were negative.

The 24-year-old had a productive summer, helping the U.S. to a gold medal in the Beijing Olympics. He's coming off a season in which he averaged 25.7 points and a career-high 7.4 rebounds.

Denver's Chucky Atkins missed the game with an injured knee and Sonny Weems sat out with a groin injury.


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