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. Jeff Green was 3-of-9. Nenad Krstic was 0-of-5. Collison was the only other Thunder player to compile respectable stats. "It’s all about making shots, putting the ball in the basket,” Durant said. "That’s what this game is about. We had opportunities. But give them credit. They contested a lot of shots. They blocked (seven) shots.” Anthony averaged 29.0 points in four meetings last year against OKC, including two dramatic Ford Center buzzer-beaters. This season, he’s averaging more than 30 to lead the NBA. Brooks chose Green to guard Anthony much of the game. Thabo Sefolosha clamped down on Chauncey Billups, who was limited to 1-of-6 from the field. Meanwhile, Anthony was 12-of-22. "It’s a matchup we wanted to explore,” Brooks said. "We felt Jeff would be a better match because Carmelo is a strong player, with good strength (in the lane). Thabo is more of a perimeter defender. Carmelo scores a lot of his points inside. And KD had him some. He did a fairly good job. "Carmelo hits big shots. He hit three big shots when they needed them tonight.” In the midst of what is arguably the toughest eight-game stretch on the schedule, the Thunder hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in the Ford Center in an ESPN nationally televised game. "You don’t want to let bad habits sink in,” Collison said. "I don’t think we played well tonight. I think everyone would agree with me on that.” Text "OKTHUNDER” to 65360 for your chance to win an Authentic Adidas Kevin Durant #35 Jersey! NewsOK OKC Thunder news text alerts sponsored by Totally Tickets.