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Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010

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Miles higher: Denver's Nene picks up a loose ball as Jason Terry of the Mavericks moves in during the Nuggets' 127-91 win on Tuesday. AP PHOTO

'Melo helps Nuggets rout Mavs in return

DENVER (AP) Carmelo Anthony got an unexpected breather in his return from an ankle injury.

Anthony, who missed the previous eight games with a sprained left ankle, scored 19 points before joining other Denver starters on the bench for the fourth quarter as the Nuggets had their most lopsided win of the season, 127-91 against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

"The good thing is my first game back, I didn't have to do too much," Anthony said. "But the bad thing is, I already had been sitting out for two weeks. I wanted to play (more), but I'll take a 36-point win any day."

The victory margin against a Dallas team that Denver eliminated in last season's semifinal round of the playoffs surpassed the Nuggets' previous high of 28 points, which they achieved twice in wins against Toronto and New Jersey in November.

Though Denver beat Dallas for the sixth time in seven meetings, the Mavericks defeated the Nuggets in their previous encounter in December at the Pepsi Center, dealing one of the Nuggets' four losses in 27 home games this season.

"We didn't expect to beat a good team like that by that amount of points, but we came out and played well from the beginning," Anthony said. "Everybody got involved. Everybody was on the same page. We knew in the back of our mind how important this game was."

And even though he was rested in the fourth quarter, Anthony said he played long enough to know that he has no lingering problems from the ankle sprain that he suffered Jan. 23 against New Orleans.

"I approached this game wanting to see what I could and couldn't do, and I found out I could do pretty much what I've been doing," said Anthony, the NBA's second-leading scorer.

Cavaliers 104, Nets 97

In Cleveland, LeBron James scored 32 points to lead the Cavaliers to their 12th straight win. The win gives Cleveland the longest winning streak in the NBA this season. The Cavaliers (42-11) also have the best record in the league.

New Jersey (4-47) has the NBA's worst record and has lost seven straight. The Nets played without point guard Devin Harris, who has a sprained left shoulder.

Bobcats 94 Wizards 92

In Charlotte, Raymond Felton hit a fadeaway jumper with 1.9 seconds left to lift the Bobcats past Washington to snap a three-game losing streak.

76ers 119, Timberwolves 97

In Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 24 points and Elton Brand added 21 as the Sixers' reserves performed well in a win over Minnesota.

The 76ers were once again missing guard Allen Iverson, who has been out the past four games to tend to his ill daughter.

Kings 118, Knicks 114 (OT)

In New York, Tyreke Evans led a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback and Kevin Martin scored nine of his 17 points in overtime as Sacramento ended a six-game losing streak.

Evans finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, scoring 12 points in the final 7 minutes of regulation after the Knicks had built a 15-point lead. Donte Greene added 24 points and rookie Omri Casspi finished with 18, just two after halftime.

Pistons 93, Bucks 81

In Milwaukee, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon scored 18 points each to lead Detroit, which had lost six of its previous eight games.

Leading 64-62 going into the fourth, the Bucks tied it twice before Jason Maxiell's short jumper ignited a 16-6 run that turned the game decisively in the Pistons' favor. Gordon's jumper capped the run and gave Detroit an 87-75 lead with 2:50 to go and they never looked back.

Heat 99, Rockets 66

In Miami, Dwyane Wade had 17 points and seven assists before sitting out the fourth quarter as the Heat raced to their largest halftime lead of the season en route to snapping a five-game losing streak.

The Heat shot 13 for 15 during a 9 1/2-minute stretch in the first half and led 56-31 at halftime. Wade was also on the bench for a breather to start the second quarter when the Heat outscored Houston 17-4 to go up 41-20.

Bulls 109, Pacers 101

In Indianapolis, Luol Deng had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Derrick Rose and John Salmons each scored 21 to lead Chicago past Indiana.

Hawks 108, Grizzlies 94

In Memphis, Jamal Crawford scored 28 points, including fourth 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, to help Atlanta pull away.

Thunder 89, Trail Blazers 77.

In Portland, Kevin Durant had 33 points and 11 rebounds to help Oklahoma City extend its streak to six games.

Jazz 109, Clippers 99

In Los Angeles, Utah's Carlos Boozer had 34 points and 14 rebounds and the Jazz beat the Clippers night for their ninth straight victory.

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