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Knicks F Carmelo Anthony returns to Denver in blowout loss, re-aggravates knee injury

03.14.13 at 9:46 am ET
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Carmelo Anthony

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony‘s return to the Pepsi Center in Denver on Wednesday night was rough in more than one way. The Knicks were blown out by the Nuggets, 117-94, and Anthony scored only nine points before being removed from the game early in the third quarter. He appears to have re-aggravated his right knee injury, and will be returning to New York to get it drained while the rest of the team travels to Portland.

“I’m going to get it drained, get the fluid out. Get to the bottom of it quick, so I can get back on the court,” Anthony said.

This was Anthony’s first game at the Pepsi Center in more than two years. He heard boos throughout the game, in the same arena he called home for the first eight seasons of his career.

Anthony missed three games last week with the lingering knee injury, before returning on Monday in another blowout loss, this one at the hands of the Warriors. The Knicks have lost three of their last four, after winning five out of six.

“I was always concerned,” Anthony said. “I was being naive to myself, saying OK. Trying to psyche myself out, ‘I can do it. I can do it.’ But there comes a point where you’ve got to figure it out and get to the bottom of it and move on.”

The host Nuggets dominated all game long, leading by as many as 34 points. This was their 10th straight win, and 14th consecutive victory at home. While Anthony was nowhere to be seen throughout the fourth quarter, fans could be heard chanting, “Where is Melo?”

“I kind of rolled with what he was thinking,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “He wanted to play and we played him. The third quarter, he had to pull out. Melo doesn’t pull out of very many games. Obviously, it’s bothering him. We’re going to send him back to be evaluated.”

The Nuggets were led by Wilson Chandler‘s 24 points. Chandler was a big part of that trade two years ago. Chandler was also a big part of Wednesday night’s astounding 21-1 Nuggets run in the second quarter to make this game a laugher early on.

“They couldn’t score and we ran by them on almost every possession,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “It was a great energy, the building had an electricity to it. I think our team was at playoff intensity mode. I also think we caught New York in a bad place. Sometimes that happens.”

Another potential issue for the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks is starting center Tyson Chandler. The team’s leading rebounder injured his left knee in the first half and had to be helped to the locker room, and was done for the rest of the game.

Even after losing their franchise player, the Nuggets are a combined 100-57 since Anthony’s departure. They are currently 44-22 and are battling for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Joining Anthony in their returns to Denver were: J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, Raymond Felton and Marcus Camby.

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler, Wilson Chandler