DENVER – Carmelo Anthony took over the game in the third quarter and finished with 25 points to help the Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 95-86 on Friday night in Larry Brown’s latest return to his first NBA coaching stop.

Stephon Marbury, who said he was upset with his role in Brown’s system after a four-point night in a loss to the Lakers this week, stayed at point guard for the Knicks. He finished with nine points and nine assists and spent the final 7 minutes of the competitive game on the bench with a towel draped over his head.

Channing Frye had 22 points and eight rebounds points for the Knicks, who finished their Western trip at 2-4.

Marcus Camby had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who reached the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Anthony played a big role in helping the Nuggets to their double-digit lead in the third.

Running the floor and creating contact under the basket as well as he has all season, Melo scored 12 points in the third quarter – including six off free throws – to help Denver turn a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead.

Possibly his best play came when he ran the length of the floor to chase down a loose ball, then fed Earl Watson on an alley-oop pass. That capped a 20-7 run that put Denver ahead 67-58.

Brown coached opposite Nuggets assistant Doug Moe, his best buddy and former assistant with the Nuggets, for the first time since 1992. Neither man said he was looking forward to the meeting because it was hard to root against such a good friend.

After a nice pregame chat at center court, Moe took his seat beside George Karl and Brown began coaching his heart out – coaxing his young players, cajoling official Rodney Mott and trying his hardest to squeak out a win in a place where he wasn’t expected to get one.

Rarely, though, did the coach call for double coverage on Anthony, who spent a lot of time in the post, sealing off Malik Rose and generally overpowering rookie David Lee.

AP-ES-11-18-05 2331EST


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