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Melo gets better of Artest as Nuggets whip Lakers

CARMELO Anthony got the better of Ron Artest, scoring 25 points in 29 minutes to lead the Denver Nuggets past the Los Angeles Lakers 105-79 yesterday.

The Lakers' six-game winning streak was snapped. They scored just eight points in the third quarter as the Nuggets turned a two-point halftime lead into an 87-64 cushion.

Held to seven points in less than 12 first-half minutes because of foul trouble, Anthony scored 10 quick points in the third quarter to give the Nuggets (7-3) a double-digit lead and turn this one into a laugher.

Mavericks 89, Timberwolves 77

At Minneapolis, Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 of his 20 points in a tense third quarter and had 11 rebounds to lead Dallas over Minnesota.

Nowitzki only had a quiet five points and five rebounds in the first half before jawing with Timberwolves rookie Jonny Flynn five minutes into the third. He received a technical foul, then scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots in the next seven minutes to hand the Timberwolves their ninth straight loss.

Flynn had 11 points and four assists for the Wolves, who shot a season-worst 32.6 percent for the game and lost their 13th in a row against Dallas.

Magic 88, Nets 72

At Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Matt Barnes added 13 points and 13 rebounds as Orlando put away winless New Jersey.

New Jersey got a triple-double from point guard Rafer Alston, the first triple-double of his career, but the Nets fell to 0-9. They are the NBA's only winless team.

Alston had 17 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds against his former team.

Orlando's Mickael Pietrus scored 16 points, Vince Carter had 14 and Jameer Nelson added 10 as all five Magic starters scored in double figures.

Jazz 112, 76ers 90

At Philadelphia, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews added a career-high 16 points as Utah ran past Philadelphia.

Paul Millsap and Mehmet Okur scored 15 points each, Ronnie Brewer contributed 14 and Eric Maynor had 13 points and 11 assists for the Jazz, who played without point guard Deron Williams yet still had seven players in double figures. Andrei Kirilenko had 13.

Warriors 121, Knicks 107

At New York, Stephen Jackson scored 23 points and three other players had 22 as Golden State sent New York to the worst 10-game start in franchise history.

Monta Ellis, Kelenna Azubuike and Corey Maggette all had 22 for the Warriors, who easily improved to 1-1 on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip by shooting 58 percent from the field. Reserve C.J. Watson finished with 19.

Danilo Gallinari had 19 points and 10 rebounds in his first career double-double for the Knicks, who dropped their sixth straight and fell to 1-9. David Lee scored 17 points and former Warriors forward Al Harrington had 16.

Trail Blazers 86, Hornets 78

At New Orleans, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 13 rebounds to help Portland beat a New Orleans team that lost Chris Paul to a sprained ankle while trying to adjust to new head coach Jeff Bower.

Paul sprained his left ankle at the end of the third quarter, moments after setting up Hilton Armstrong's dunk that cut Portland's lead to 62-52.

Brandon Roy scored 15 points for the Trail Blazers, who won their fifth straight game while dropping New Orleans to its fourth loss in five games.

Hawks 97, Celtics 86

At Boston, Joe Johnson scored 24 points and Jamal Crawford had 18 as Atlanta pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Boston.

Josh Smith scored 14 and Al Horford had 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Hawks continued their strong start this season.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points despite bruising his left knee early in the third quarter. Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins scored 14 points apiece.

Kings 109, Rockets 100

At Sacramento, California, Jason Thompson had a career-high 27 points and added 11 rebounds for Sacramento's fourth straight win.

The previous time the Kings won four consecutive games was late in the 2007-08 season.

Trevor Ariza scored 28 points for the Rockets. Shane Battier had 23 points and Luis Scola had 20 points and nine rebounds.

Beno Udrih had 22 points for the Kings, and Tyreke Evans had 20 points.

Raptors 104, Clippers 89

At Los Angeles, Chris Bosh had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Toronto, which overcame an early 22-point deficit and made four 3-point shots during a game-ending 16-0 run.

Andrea Bargnani had 19 points and Jose Calderon added 18 for the Raptors.

Chris Kaman, who fought through a virus to get 20 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's home loss at New Orleans, made his first five shots against the Raptors and finished with 25 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes.


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