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Anthony, Nuggets Knock Off Timberwolves, 113-100

(Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 113-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Arron Afflalo added 22 points and Chauncey Billups scored 21 with 13 assists for the Nuggets, who won for just the second time in their last five games.

The Nuggets ran their winning streak at Minnesota's Target Center to eight games and captured their fifth straight victory overall against the Timberwolves, moving to 18-3 in the last 21 meetings.

Michael Beasley scored 23 points to lead Minnesota, which has dropped three straight, while Kevin Love had 18 points and 19 rebounds for his 36th straight double-double.

The Nuggets had an 80-67 lead midway through the third quarter, but Minnesota closed the frame with a 17-7 run to draw within three.

Sebastian Telfair scored five of his seven points during the last part of the run -- a 7-0 burst that got Minnesota within 87-84 heading into the fourth.

The buzzer brought a cold spell for both teams, and no one scored until Afflalo's layup 2:40 into the final quarter. The Timberwolves kept it close until the final minutes and were within 99-95 on Jonny Flynn's layup with 3:04 left.

J.R. Smith followed with a jumper and Denver never let its lead dip below six after that. Billups hit two free throws for a eight-point lead and Smith later got it to 10 on a three-point play.

The dagger was a Billups three-pointer with 57.2 seconds left, which put the Nuggets up by 11.

"They got the ball to the right people at the right time," said Minnesota's Anthony Tolliver. "They played good 'D' at critical times when they needed a stop and we needed a basket."

Billups said he liked the way that Denver played good fundamental basketball -- opening the floor, running pick-and-rolls, rebounding. The Nuggets shot 54 percent from the field and were 11-of-27 on three-pointers.

"Guys got good looks," Billups said.

Denver led 25-23 after a back-and-forth first quarter, then went ahead by as many as 14 points in the second on the way to a 59-46 halftime lead. Anthony scored 15 in the half, then 10 more in the third quarter despite Minnesota's rally.

Game Notes

Smith finished with 14 points off the bench and Nene added 12 for the Nuggets...Minnesota shot 39 percent and was just 7-of-27 from three-point range...Denver guard Ty Lawson missed the game with what the team called a "tweaked knee."

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.