DENVER — Carmelo Anthony got his points and a lukewarm reception. Not a win, though.
Never does these days when he returns to town to face his former team.
Kenneth Faried had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets beat New York 110-94 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight win over the Knicks at the Pepsi Center.
That’s not all with Anthony, of course, who’s now 0-3 when playing at his old stomping grounds since being traded to New York in February 2011. He insisted he didn’t hear any boos. And if there were some, he doesn’t take it personal.
"I thought they were booing because we were the opposing team," said Anthony, who had 30 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds (seven) as well as assists (four). "I didn’t feel like they were booing me. Maybe they were. I don’t know.
"The fans that were here when I was here, they understand the situation."
The game was long decided and just a few seconds remaining, but there was Faried, fighting for a rebound like it really, really mattered.
That’s just the way he operates. All energy, all the time as he turned in his sixth double-double in seven games.
"He’s probably top-three best energy players in the league," rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay said. "As long as he plays with that energy, it’s good for us."
The Nuggets dominated in virtually every category. They had more points in the paint (62-36), second-chance points (15-6), fast-break points (17-11), a better rebounding advantage (45-43) and way fewer turnovers (16-6).
"I love when we play like that," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "A good win for us."
Kristaps Porzingis was limited to six points in his return after missing a game with a bruised left leg. The Knicks were dealt a blow before the game when forward Lance Thomas hurt his left knee in warmups.
This wasn’t a good start to their six-game trip, which is their longest since the 2005-06 season.
New York cut the deficit to 89-82 with 6:42 left on a layup by Porzingis. But the Knicks could never get any closer.
D.J. Augustin all but sealed the win with a five-point burst in a 34-second span that extended the lead to 100-87.
"Everybody kind of contributed and did what they’re supposed to do," Mudiay said.
Magic Jokic. That’s the new nickname given to Nikola Jokic by Malone for all the big man’s no-look passes. Jokic’s true value, though, is mixing it up down low. Jokic scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Nuggets had six players in double figures.
"I like (the nickname)," Jokic said. "But he’s just messing with you guys."
Axel Toupane, who was signed to a 10-day contract last week, scored his first NBA basket on a dunk in the third quarter. He also had a pivotal three-point play early in the fourth quarter.
"He’s a guy that came in right away, knows the game, has been playing the right way, just been waiting for his opportunity. I’m happy for him," forward Darrell Arthur said.
Anthony said he hasn’t given much thought to his number being retired one day in Denver.
"We’re still a long way away from that," Anthony said. "We’ll see what happens when the time comes."
Knicks: G Sasha Vujacic celebrated his 32nd birthday Tuesday. He didn’t get into the game. … Team President Phil Jackson accompanied the team on the trip. "It’s always great to have him around," interim coach Kurt Rambis said. Rambis thought Jackson would be on the entire trip, especially considering there’s a stop in Los Angeles to play the Lakers on Sunday in Kobe Bryant’s farewell season.
Nuggets: Danilo Gallinari (sprained right ankle) remains "very limited," Malone said. … Malone got a little animated on the sideline late in a win over Dallas on Sunday. "Once I saw the replay of that I was quite embarrassed," Malone said. "My daughters told me I’ve gone viral, and that’s one thing I’ve never wanted to be is viral."
Knicks: Visit Phoenix on Wednesday.
Nuggets: Host Phoenix on Thursday.