Apr 9, 2010 2:54 AM

Carmelo scores 31 in Nuggets win over Lakers

DENVER (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and had a game-saving block at the buzzer, helping the Denver Nuggets hold on for a 98-96 win over a Los Angeles Lakers team playing without Kobe Bryant on Thursday night.

With time winding down, Anthony stuffed Derek Fisher's shot as Denver won its fourth straight.

The slumping Lakers gave Bryant the night off to rest a swollen right knee and an aching right index finger. Los Angeles has now dropped four of its last five games, but remains in control for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Lakers needs just one more win in their last four to wrap it up. Either that or a Denver loss.

J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 26 points, including five 3-pointers.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)




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