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Carmelo Anthony lights up Thunder

BY MIKE BALDWIN Modified: December 15, 2009 at 12:46 am •  Published: December 15, 2009
DENVER — Carmelo Anthony once again lit up the Thunder to lead Denver to a 102-93 win Monday night at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets were so much in control the crowd never really erupted all night.

Led by Anthony’s 31 points, Denver dominated the second quarter to build a 55-40 halftime lead. The lead stayed in double figures the entire second half until the final minute.

"I don’t think we had that extra burst of energy we needed,” said Nick Collison. "We were just a little bit behind most all night. That usually happens when you don’t have total focus and energy you need to win a game against one of the league’s best teams on their home floor.”

Oklahoma City trailed 55-40 at halftime, matched its season high for turnovers (21) and shot 39.2 percent.

The NBA’s second-youngest team looked like it was still suffering from a hangover from LeBron James’ dazzling 44-point game and Mo Williams memorable half-court 3-pointer Sunday night as Cleveland beat Oklahoma City in the Ford Center.

"We learn so many things about ourselves every game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "From tonight’s game, we learned we have to come out with energy to start the game. I didn’t think we did. We got away with it in the first quarter.

"We still have to figure out ways to create the energy playing 82 games. We came back and did a lot of good things in the second half defensively. But we turned the ball over too many times.”

The Thunder held Denver, the league’s highest- scoring team, below its 108.5-point average and 40.0 percent shooting. But for much of the game, OKC’s offense looked a lot like the 0-for-12 fourth quarter slump late in Sunday’s loss to the Cavs.

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 31 points on Monday night. But while Durant made nine of 20 shots, his teammates shot 37.2 percent.

Russell Westbrook was 5-of-15 from the field. Monday's box score

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