Nuggets Get Much-Needed 109-92 Win Over Blazers

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Nuggets Get Much-Needed 109-92 Win Over Blazers

For more on the game, check out Blazers Edge and Denver Stiffs.

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and overcame a multitude of turnovers and foul trouble to lead Denver to a much-needed 109-92 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Anthony picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter and finished the game with nine of his team's 11 turnovers. Nene added 22 points and Chauncey Billups 21 for the Nuggets, who came into the night having lost five of their previous six contests.

Thursday's win moved Denver within a half-game of Phoenix for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are also a game behind Utah for first in the Northwest Division.

"Not to sugar coat it, but we needed to win this game," Nuggets guard Ty Lawson said. "We had lost five out of six games. It was a big win since we were sliding in the standings a little. Getting this win was big for us and we need to keep it rolling."

Anthony and Billups combined for 29 second-half points as the Nuggets outscored the Blazers, 53-37, over the final 24 minutes.

Andre Miller scored 24 for the Trail Blazers, while Martell Webster notched 17 and LaMarcus Aldridge 16 in defeat.

The Trail Blazers clinched a playoff spot with a 118-90 home win over New York on Wednesday, but had a four-game winning streak broken on Thursday and lost for just the second time in 11 contests. They fell into a tie with San Antonio for the No. 8 seed in the West.

A three-pointer by Brandon Roy trimmed Portland's deficit to 74-72 with 3:31 to go in the third quarter, but the Nuggets scored the next five, capped by a Billups three-point play coming off a reverse layup and a foul shot. Billups nailed a three-pointer at the end of the quarter for an 87-76 cushion.

"When a team hits a couple of shots finishing off the third quarter, a six or seven point lead turns to a 10 or 11; it's tough to come off of and get a win," Miller said.

Portland was within 94-86 midway through the fourth, but Anthony stemmed the tide with a jumper and the Nuggets pulled away down the stretch and led by as many as 19 in the closing two minutes.

The Nuggets carried a 27-24 edge into the second quarter, and despite falling behind early in the second, the hosts built a nine-point lead before settling for a 56-55 edge at the half. Marcus Camby sank a jumper at the buzzer for Portland.

Denver has won its last 46 home games when leading entering the fourth quarter...Denver forward Chris Andersen departed the game with a sprained left ankle with 7:22 remaining in the fourth quarter...Denver won the season series, 3-1 and has captured 19 of its last 21 at home over Portland...Denver is now 6-7 with Adrian Dantley running the show in place of George Karl, who continues to undergo treatment for neck and throat cancer...Roy went 3-of-13 from the field and ended with 14 points...J.R. Smith scored 15 for Denver, which went 5-of-22 from beyond the arc.

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