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Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010

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Skid row: Washington's Nick Young holds on to the ball as Los Angeles' Lamar Odom (top) and Steve Blake close in during the Lakers' 103-89 win on Tuesday. AP PHOTO

Nuggets top Magic, dismiss trade talk

DENVER (AP) Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri put the kibosh on the latest rumors and reports that star forward Carmelo Anthony was headed to the New Jersey Nets.

"There's nothing going on. Nothing," Ujiri said as he walked out of the Pepsi Center with team president Josh Kroenke following Denver's impressive 111-94 win over the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

"I would think if 'Melo was getting traded, he'd know that right? He's earned that," Ujiri said as Kroenke nodded in agreement.

The first Anthony heard of the latest buzz of a big trade to the Big Apple was from reporters crowded around his locker and checking their smart phones after he scored 35 points in the win over the Magic.

"Who? I haven't heard that one. Am I? I don't know, dawg. This is new," Anthony responded when a reporter relayed a report that he would be headed to New Jersey on Wednesday.

"I haven't heard that. I'm officially saying I know nothing about it," the Nuggets superstar added. "When I have some more information, you guys will know."

Talk has been swirling around Anthony ever since last summer, when he declined to sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with the Nuggets, whom he's led to the playoffs seven straight seasons since turning pro after winning the national title at Syracuse as a freshman in 2003.

Anthony was born in Brooklyn and married TV personality LaLa Vasquez in an elaborate New York City ceremony last summer.

Fueling the latest speculation was the three-team trade agreed to Tuesday between New Jersey, Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers that netted the Nets two more first-round draft picks for potential use in a deal for Anthony.

"Oh, that's why y'all" are asking, Anthony said.

Growing tired of the trade talk, Anthony told the scrum, "You want to ask me about Orlando?"

He said he banged his right thumb during the game, but "I'll be all right come Thursday." He added that he's healthy now that he sat out a few days with a sore knee and the flu.

Asked if he was sentimental at all if this was his last game in Denver, Anthony replied, "Are you sending me out?"

Just relaying the reports, he was told.

"I've been listening to reports all summer," Anthony retorted. "I ain't thinking about that. I'm here. You'll see me suited up Thursday night."

If this indeed was Anthony's farewell, it was a good one.

The Nuggets pulled away in the final five minutes to beat the Magic despite J.J. Redick's career-high 29 points. With Denver leading 92-91, Arron Afflalo's 3-pointer jump-started the Nuggets on a 19-3 run to close the game.

Anthony hit 14 of 21 shots from the field and pulled down 11 rebounds. Nene had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who were coming off a 1-3 trip and improved to an NBA-best 11-1 at home.

Lakers 103, Wizards 89

In Washington, Kobe Bryant took over the game by scoring 16 of his 24 points in the third quarter, lifting Los Angeles over the undermanned Wizards.

Bryant scored 12 straight Lakers points during a 17-2 third-quarter run that put the game away. The defending NBA champions won for the fifth time in six games.

Pistons 103, Hawks 80

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Detroit ended a four-game losing streak by beating Atlanta.

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Charlie Villanueva added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who blew a 25-point lead in a loss to Toronto on Saturday.

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 26 points.

Bobcats 97, Raptors 91

In Charlotte, Tyrus Thomas hit the go-ahead jumper with just over a minute left, and the Bobcats held on to down Toronto.

Nazr Mohammed had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats, who needed reserves to play key roles, as Stephen Jackson was held to seven points before fouling out.

76ers 82, Nets 77

In Newark, N.J., Philadelphia snapped an eight-game road losing streak by beating slumping New Jersey.

Spencer Hawes scored a season-high 18 points and Jrue Holiday had 19 points as the 76ers ended their longest losing streak away from home since 2006.

Rockets 118, Kings 105

In Houston, Luis Scola had 23 points and 10 rebounds in three quarters, and the Rockets cruised past Sacramento.

Warriors 108, T-Wolves 99

In Oakland, Reggie Williams had 22 of his 26 points in the second half, Monta Ellis scored 34 points and Golden State beat Minnesota.

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