Anthony leads Nuggets past Partizan Belgrade
Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points, Arron Afflalo added 15 and the Denver Nuggets ran off with a 102-70 exhibition victory over Partizan Belgrade on Saturday night.
One of Europe’s top basketball clubs and winner of eight consecutive Serbian League titles, Partizan Belgrade was no match for the Nuggets, who last season reached the NBA’s Western Conference finals, where they lost to the eventual league champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Nene added 12 points and Anthony Carter had 11 for the Nuggets, who played their first game at the Pepsi Center since their Game 6 loss to the Lakers.
Aleksandar Maric’s 21 rebounds and 16 points led Partizan Belgrade. Aleksander Rasic added 11.
Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups and power forward Chris Andersen, both principals in Denver’s playoff run, were given the night off by coach George Karl and watched the game from the bench.
Still, the Nuggets established supremacy from the outset. They scored 14 of the game’s first 15 points, capped by Anthony’s dunk off a feed from Kenyon Martin, who made his debut after missing the team’s exhibition opener Thursday against Utah with a thigh contusion.
J.R. Smith(notes) got the crowd into it and charged up teammates with successive fastbreak dunks en route to Denver’s 26-16 lead after the first quarter. From there, the Nuggets pulled away to a 50-33 advantage at halftime and opened a 27-point lead over cold-shooting Partizan Belgrade by the end of the third quarter.
Partizan Belgrade, which trailed by as many as 36 points, was plagued by poor shooting throughout the course of the game. Partizan shot only 31 percent from the field, compared to the Nuggets’ 52 percent, and went 5 for 27 from behind the arc, including 0 for 13 in the first half.
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