Nuggets Top Blazers As Anthony Stars

By Ross Everett

Carmello Anthony scored 41 points and the Denver Nuggets used a second half comeback to give the Portland Trailblazers a rare 97-94 loss at their Rose Garden Arena home venue on Thursday night. The Blazers held a 67-62 lead heading into the final quarter but for the second time in as many games had trouble putting their opponent away. Brandon Roy led Portland with 30 points, and Greg Oden was the high rebounder for the home team with 9 boards. Portland is now 1-1 on the young NBA season, while Denver improved to 2-0.

NBA pointspread players who took Denver as +8 road underdogs enjoyed their outright victory and the ensuing payday. The Nuggets have covered the number in both of their victories this season, while Portland evened their ATS mark at 1-1. The 191 combined points went UNDER the posted total of 200. Portland has gone UNDER in both games this season while Denver evened their NBA totals mark at 1-1.

After the game, Anthony was happier about the victory than his personal offensive outburst:

"We came out here and stole the win. It wasn't just an important win. It was a battle."

Anthony made 7 of 9 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throws in the decisive fourth quarter run:

"My shots were going in. I was trying to attack. I got to the rim and the foul line."

Portland's Greg Oden was taking the loss hard, as he missed a couple of late game free throws that could have given the Blazers a lead:

"This is a tough one. I definitely stepped up there with confidence thinking I was going to hit both and it didn't go that way. I put this loss on me. I need to step up and make those."

Team leader Brandon Roy said that he'd give the Blazers' big man a pep talk:

"The biggest thing is to let go. We all miss shots, you've got to forget about it."

Roy also added that the choppy pace of the game with a lot of fouls called benefitted Denver playing in back-to-back games:

"I think it benefited them a bit more coming off a back-to-back. They were tired but anytime you slow the game down that much, it gives them a chance to recover."

The Blazers will head to Texas for a rematch against the Houston Rockets, whom they beat to open the NBA season. They'll play at Oklahoma City on Sunday before returning home for a game at The Rose Garden against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday. Denver will head back to 'The Mile High City' for a game against Memphis on Sunday before an east coast road trip with stops in Indiana and New Jersey early next week. - 31494

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