The Denver Nuggets are suddenly looking like an offensive juggernaut.
Kenneth Faried scored 25 points, Emmanuel Mudiay had 22 and the Nuggets beat Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks 127-114 on Saturday night.
“It’s two games in a row that we’ve never trailed,” said coach Michael Malone, whose Nuggets beat Portland 132-120 two days ago, posting a season high in points in the process that also coincided with the insertion of Wilson Chandler and Nikola Jokic into the starting lineup.
“If that starting group can play as well as they’ve played on both ends of the ball then that really helps out our deep bench when they come into the game. It’s just been a combination of our depth, guys playing well, guys embracing the change and who knows where it’s going to lead to.”
Added guard Gary Harris: “I wouldn’t say we turned a corner yet but if we keep playing like this, it’s going to be good.”
Anthony, who missed the Knicks’ loss at Golden State on Thursday night with a bruised right shoulder, had 29 points against his former team but remained winless in five trips to Denver since he was traded to New York in 2011.
“It was the lack of effort that we put out there tonight,” Anthony said. “To give up 127 on the road. To be honest, you can’t win too many games like that. Today we played one step behind and tried to get it going. They maintained their lead and ran what they wanted to run. I just thought we didn’t put forth the effort tonight.”
The Knicks have dropped nine in a row in Denver overall. Kristaps Porzingis scored 22 points, but New York concluded its five-game road trip with a third consecutive loss for its first three-game slide of the season.
In the first NBA matchup of brothers Willy Hernangomez of the Knicks and Juancho Hernangomez of the Nuggets, Willy finished with 17 points. Juancho didn’t get into the game until the final minute and went 1 for 2 at the free-throw line.
New York trailed by eight at the break, but it closed to 70-66 on a 3-pointer by Brandon Jennings. Denver responded with a 15-3 run capped by Faried’s reverse dunk, running the Nuggets’ lead to 85-69 with 4:28 left to play in the third quarter.
Denver carried a 96-80 lead into the fourth quarter and stretched it to 19 when Danilo Gallinari, who came to Denver as part of the Anthony trade, connected on a 3-pointer with 6:07 left.