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NBA Game Summary - Washington at Denver

(Tuesday, March 16th)

Final Score: Denver 97, Washington 87

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, as the Denver Nuggets battled back to upend the Washington Wizards, 97-87, at the Pepsi Center.

The game marked the return of Nuggets head coach George Karl, who missed the previous four games over the past week for cancer treatments.

"We know it's a tough task for him to go through," Anthony said of Karl's condition. "For him to come in and see us and uplift his spirits, it makes us feel good."

J.R. Smith added 17 points off the bench and Nene chipped in 16 for the Nuggets, winners in seven of their last eight.

Andray Blatche paced Washington with 23 points and eight boards for the Wizards, who dropped their ninth in a row.

Al Thornton scored 16 points, but fouled out in the defeat, while Alonzo Gee added career highs of 13 points and 10 boards for the struggling Wizards.

"We have to stay positive and try to get the next win," Blatche said.

Denver widened its advantage to 74-68 on an Anthony Carter trey with 8:41 left in the fourth. The Nuggets pulled away after Smith scored nine straight Denver points to make it an 88-78 game with just over three minutes remaining. Washington never cut into the double-digit edge down the stretch.

Washington got out to a 7-2 start in the opening quarter and widened the margin to as many as eight in the frame on a Thornton dunk with just over five minutes left. The Wizards led by six, 24-18, going into the second quarter.

Denver tied the game at 26 on an Arron Afflalo jumper, but the Wizards upped the advantage to six on a Shaun Livingston make with under four minutes to go in the half. Washington finished the frame up that same amount at 45-39.

The Nuggets fought back and tied the game at 51 on an Anthony jumper with under eight minutes left in the third. Denver then took the lead on an Afflalo three with 7:18 left. Denver led by as many as seven in the frame, but finished the quarter only up two after Gee drained a half-court buzzer-beating three to lessen the Denver margin to 65-63.

Game Notes

Denver improved to 35-5 this season when leading after three quarters and 29-5 at home...The Nuggets shot 50.7 percent for the game...Both teams turned the ball over 16 times...Washington next plays on Friday at Portland...Denver next plays on Thursday at home against New Orleans.

03/17 01:23:57 ET

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