(Sports Network) - New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony returns to where
his career started when he leads his team into Denver Wednesday night to face
the surging Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
Anthony was selected third overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Nuggets and
forced his way out of the Rocky Mountains in a blockbuster trade two years
ago. Anthony has faced his former team before, but not in Denver.
"I grew up here, I mean, sort of to say. This is where I started my career,"
Anthony said after Tuesday's practice. "I was 18, 19 years old when I came
here. This city grew with me, I grew with the city. We had a lot of good times
here in Denver, as a team, as a community. And then it came to a point where
we had to split ways."
Due to the abbreviated 2011-12 season, the Knicks never played in Denver.
The 6-8 forward had missed three straight games with a balky knee and returned
to action in Monday's 92-63 loss at Golden State in the opener of a five-game
western junket. Anthony had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Chris Copeland
scored a team-high 15 points off the bench. Raymond Felton was the only other
Knick with double-digit scoring (10 points).
"The ball got stuck a lot," New York center Tyson Chandler said. "We didn't
have much ball movement. We didn't have too many guys get into a rhythm. We
had to force shots tonight and we missed them."
New York, which is second in the East standings and had won six of eight
games, owns a 16-13 record away from home and will also visit the Blazers,
Clippers and Jazz on the road trip.
The Knicks will face a fast Nuggets team in the high altitude of the Rockies,
and need to be well rested for this one.
Denver has ripped off nine straight wins and is unbeaten in the past 13 games
at the Pepsi Center, where it is 28-3 this season.
The Nuggets remained in the win column with Monday's 108-93 triumph at Phoenix
as Kosta Koufos scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Corey
Brewer came off the bench to score 20 points and Ty Lawson chipped in 19
points and six assists.
"I think we ran more in the second half," Koufos said. "Our guards did a great
job of penetrating the lane and dishing off and we give them credit for that
and that's why we're so good this year, because our guards are so fast and
they can penetrate."
The Nuggets have topped 100 points in 23 of their last 24 games and scored 74
points in the paint compared to just 32 for the Suns.
Denver is fifth in the West standings and will also host Memphis on this quick
homestand. The Nuggets dropped a 112-106 decision to the Knicks at Madison
Square Garden on Dec. 9 this season, but have won 10 of the previous 15
matchups between the teams.
New York is winless in four straight trips to the Rockies and 2-9 in the
previous 11 visits to Denver.
The Sports Network