DENVER - Carmelo Anthony outplayed Kevin Durant, scoring 30 points, and the Denver Nuggets took control with a big third quarter to rout the Oklahoma City Thunder, 119-90, on Wednesday night.
Nene added 20 points, and J.R. Smith had 18 for the Nuggets, who averted a third consecutive loss.
Durant, the NBA’s second-leading scorer, was held to 19 points after averaging 31 points in two previous games against the Nuggets this season – including a 101-84 win over the Nuggets in Oklahoma City on Jan. 29 in the teams’ most recent meeting.
James Harden also had 19 points, and Serge Ibaka 15 for the Thunder, who lost for just the third time in their last 15 games.
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It was Oklahoma City’s sixth consecutive loss to the Nuggets in Denver, however.
Up by nine at halftime, Denver outscored the Thunder 31-12 to take a 92-64 lead into the final quarter.
Oklahoma City hit only four of 23 shots from the field in the period (17.4 percent), and when Anthony nailed a 17-foot jumper to start the fourth, the Nuggets were in front by 30 points.
Anthony, who ranks third in the league in scoring behind LeBron James and Durant, scored 23 in the first half, helping the Nuggets take a 61-52 lead.