- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON | Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Nene and Al Harrington each scored 21 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Washington Wizards 120-109 on Tuesday night.

It was the sixth win in the last eight games for Denver, which began a five-game road trip with a strong performance that comes amid continued trade talk surrounding Anthony.

Anthony shot just 8 for 20, but six Nuggets scored in double figures. Aaron Afflalo had 18 points, Ty Lawson added 17 and Chauncey Billups finished with 15.

Denver put together a 17-2 run to take a a 24-10 lead with 4:26 remaining in the first quarter and led 68-56 at halftime. The second half was more of the same, with the Nuggets leading 96-79 after three, and Washington never seriously challenging in the fourth.

Nick Young had 26 points for the Wizards. Andray Blatche scored 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter and John Wall finished with 10 points and 13 assists.

Washington, which has lost four of five, now plays its next four on the road, where they’re winless in 21 games this season.

The road hasn’t been much kinder for the Nuggets, who have won only six of 19 away from Denver. The good news is the remaining games on this trip — Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia and New Jersey — are against teams with losing records.

Anthony probably isn’t looking forward to the Jan. 31 visit to the Garden State, where he’ll have to answer lots of questions about the scuttled trade to the Nets. New Jersey owner Mikhail Prokhorov called off talks on a blockbuster three-team trade that would have sent Anthony and Billups to New Jersey.

Earlier Tuesday, Anthony told the Denver Post he didn’t know if he’d be traded, and now he keeps hearing the new NBA catch phrase, “Melo Fatigue,” in reference to the endless chatter about his destination. “If this is fatiguing for everyone, imagine how it is for me. I still have to go out there and perform on the basketball court,” Anthony said.

NOTES: Washington G Kirk Hinrich missed his third straight game with a sprained right elbow. … Wizards swingman Josh Howard has been out with since early this month with a left knee injury but is improving and hopes to play Monday when Washington faces Dallas, coach Flip Saunders said. … Denver C/F Chris Andersen missed his seventh straight game with knee and back injuries, and hopes to play later in the road trip, coach George Karl said. … Saunders got a laugh out of C Kevin Seraphin’s wardrobe malfunction when he put his shorts on backward Monday in New York. “The main thing we’re going to do is make sure everyone has their shorts on right,” he said.


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