'Melo, Nuggets rout Jazz, increase division lead

DENVER (AP) -- The Utah Jazz knew what was coming and still
couldn't stop the Denver Nuggets.

"We saw film of how that team ran after turnovers and missed
shots from the perimeter," Jazz forward Mehmet Okur said. "We
still took and missed too many shots from outside and watched them
get layups and dunk on us at the other end."

Carmelo Anthony continued his surge with 31 points and Denver
beat the Jazz 113-83 on Friday night for its fourth straight win.

"That is one of those most disappointing games that I've been
involved in," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "And for a game with
this much significance."

The Jazz were beaten in almost every category, including 27-17
on fastbreak points and 50-40 on points in the paint, falling 1
games behind Denver in the Northwest Division.

Devin Brown scored 23 points and Andrei Kirilenko had 11 for
Utah, which has lost three of its last four.

Kenyon Martin had 16 points and six rebounds and Andre Miller
added 13 points for the Nuggets, who placed six players in double

"That was the best that we have played both defensively and
offensively," Denver coach George Karl said.

Anthony connected on 11 of 22 shots from the field and nine of
10 free throws. He is averaging 31.3 points in his last four games.

"We knew that it was a division game and we wanted to win it
and we showed that," said Anthony, who had five dunks by himself.

Gordan Giricek hit two jumpers in a 6-0 run for Utah at the
start of the second half that cut the lead to 59-44. But Denver
went to its running game and Martin and Anthony had dunks in an
11-0 run that stretched the lead to 26 points.

Denver took an 83-58 lead into the fourth quarter on Greg
Buckner's 3-pointer in the last minute of the period.

Anthony hit his first shot of the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer,
and had two free throws before he left the game with 8:30 to play
and Denver holding a 92-65 lead.

"I didn't mind sitting out in the fourth at all," Anthony
said. "We did a good job of holding a lead and we held their
starters to just 29 points."

Anthony had 12 points in the first quarter as Denver grabbed a
23-16 lead. Utah missed five layups and shot 29 percent in the
first period.

"We didn't have much for them," Sloan said. "It looked like
we didn't belong."
^Notes@: Sloan coached his 1,600th game with the Jazz. ... Sloan and
Denver assistant Doug Moe exchanged good-natured verbal jabs before
the game. ... Karl said he wouldn't tamper with a starting lineup
that had won three consecutive games leading up to Friday's game.
... Buckner played despite lingering effects of a sprained right