Nuggets find Magic to be perfect potion

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Updated: March 5, 2006 at 12:00 am • Published: March 5, 2006
DENVER - Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points Saturday and Earl Boykins snapped out of a shooting slump with 21 in the Denver Nuggets’ 110-94 rout of the slumping Orlando Magic. Ruben Patterson also scored 21 points, the most he’s scored since joining the Nuggets from Portland on Feb. 23 in a four-team trade. Grant Hill scored 19 points for the Magic, which lost for the 12th straight time on the road and fell to 2-17 in its past 19 games. Coming off a season-low 78-point performance at Houston a night earlier, the Nuggets surpassed that total on Anthony’s jumper late in the third quarter that gave Denver a 79-67 lead. Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin missed the game with a sore left knee, which was surgically repaired in the offseason and gave way Friday night. He’s day-to-day. Francisco Elson replaced him in the starting lineup but picked up his second foul early in the first quarter and was replaced by recently acquired forward Reggie Evans, who scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. If foul trouble wasn’t enough to frustrate Elson, he also had to deal with officials trying to speed up the game. Official Eddie F. Rush screamed at Elson to give him the ball after DeShawn Stevenson fouled Patterson with 4½ minutes left in the third quarter. “Relax,” an agitated Elson replied. “You don’t have to yell.” In his second game back since missing 20 games with a sprained right foot, Jameer Nelson had 10 points and 10 assists for Orlando. The Nuggets’ 10-point firsthalf lead dwindled to a point when Dwight Howard’s bucket pulled the Magic to 59-58 in the third quarter. But Denver used a 23-11 run — 12 coming from Anthony — to take an 82-69 lead. “We ran, got a lot of dunks and layups,” Patterson said. “Carmelo was telling me he was tired, but I told him he’s too young to be tired; he’s got to pick it up. He’s 21. I’m 30. He picked it up a little bit.” Boykins did most of his work in the fourth quarter after Orlando made one last push, pulling to 84-77 on Carlos Arroyo’s basket. Boykins responded by scoring eight straight points, and Patterson’s breakaway dunk made it 94-79 with 8½ minutes remaining. The Nuggets are 11-4 without Martin in the lineup. NEXT Memphis (32-26) at Denver (32-28), 6 p.m. Monday, Altitude, 1300/950 AM
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