Monday , Jan , 29 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Carmelo still a scoring machine

(Sports Network) – The Denver Nuggets are 2-2 since star forward Carmelo Anthony returned from his 15-game suspension. Denver is 22-19 and trails the first place Utah Jazz by five games in the Northwest Division.

Anthony has scored 23 or more points in all four contests. He is averaging 30.5 points, 6.25 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in that span. The Syracuse product leads the league in scoring (31.5 ppg).

Denver attempts to halt a two-game losing streak when it hosts the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday at the Pepsi Center. It is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On November 12th, Anthony scored 36 points to lead Denver over the Bobcats, 108-101, at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

The Nuggets lead the all-time series by a 4-1 count and has won four in a row over the Bobcats, who are 0-2 on the road against the Nuggets.

Denver plays the second a short two-game homestand against Charlotte. On Saturday, Vince Carter poured in 40 points, as the New Jersey Nets got back on the winning track after three straight one-point losses, with a 112-102 victory over the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

J.R. Smith scored a team-high 28 points off the bench in the loss to New Jersey for the Nuggets, who have lost two in a row after a five-game winning streak. Anthony scored 23 points, while Allen Iverson had 18 points and eight assists. and Marcus Camby netted 13 and pulled down seven rebounds.

The Nuggets are 12-11 at home this season. They have dropped three of their last five contests at the Pepsi Center.

Denver is scheduled to host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in the first of a home-and-home set at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets will visit Portland on Friday at the Rose Garden.

The Nuggets defeated Portland, 109-93, on January 14th at the Rose Garden. Denver will host the Trail Blazers on March 13th in the final meeting of the campaign between the squads.

Since acquiring Iverson from Philadelphia on December 19th, the Nuggets are 8-10. Iverson has scored more than 20 points in 16 of 18 games with Denver, and has collected five double-doubles.