Nuggets' Anthony out at least 3 weeks

Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony will miss at least three weeks with a broken bone in his shooting hand, but he won't need surgery.

Anthony (Towson Catholic) was fitted with a red removable splint yesterday after breaking a bone in his right hand in a victory over the Indiana Pacers the night before.


He has been told by doctors he'll be out three to four weeks.

"Hopefully the healing process will be a lot quicker," Anthony said after returning to the Pepsi Center after his visit with a hand specialist.


Anthony was injured 9:44 into the third quarter when Pacers center Jeff Foster swatted at the ball, catching part of Anthony's hand.

He continued to play despite numbness in the hand, scoring 21 points before leaving late in the fourth quarter of a 135-115 win.

"Tough kid," said his teammate, Kenyon Martin.

He's glad he didn't know the hand was broken. He didn't want to come out, not with the game still close.

"We just needed that game," said Anthony, whose team blew a 20-point lead before pulling away again in the fourth quarter. "That was a game last night that we couldn't let slip out of our hands."

Anthony has also been hampered by a bruised right elbow this season, causing him to miss three games in late December. The bothersome elbow will now get some much-needed rest as well.

"I'm going to make this time the best time I can, just by rehabbing," Anthony said.

On the court


Magic 89, Wizards 80:: Hedo Turkoglu scored 22 points and host Orlando held off a late scoring burst by Caron Butler to beat Washington.

Butler had 29 points, all in the second half, but the recently energized Wizards (7-26) failed in their bid to win for the fourth time in six games.

Orlando center Dwight Howard had his league-leading 25th double double, with 15 points and 16 rebounds. Jameer Nelson added 14 points for the Magic (27-8), which rebounded from its loss at Toronto on Sunday.

Antawn Jamison scored 13 for the Wizards, who fell to 0-3 against Orlando this season.

Orlando opened the fourth quarter hitting only three of its first 15 shots as the Wizards drew within 83-80 in the final two minutes. Nelson hit a basket and Howard made two free throws with 34 seconds left to seal the game.

Butler had 21 points in the third quarter, three short of tying Lakers guard Kobe Bryant's Magic opponent record set in 2004.


Butler was 0-for-5 in the first half, but made 12 of 19 in the second half.

"In the first half they threw a lot of different things at me," Butler said. "Stan Van Gundy is a former coach of mine [at Miami]. He was getting me out of my sweet spots and throwing a lot of double-teams at me. Once I figured out where they were coming from, I was OK. And then I found my rhythm."

Wizards coach Ed Tapscott said he never wavered from using Butler as his primary weapon.

"I told him at the beginning of the [second] half that we were going to run the first play for him and we were going to keep coming to him," Tapscott said. "I told him, 'Don't worry about the first half.' He's a quality player, and I knew his shots would fall, and they did. So he made me look good, for a moment. But we didn't have enough."

Bobcats 114, Celtics 106, OT:: Raymond Felton scored 25 points, rookie D.J. Augustin added 11 of his 20 points in overtime, and Charlotte (13-22) continued Boston's sudden slide.

Beaten by their surprising nemesis for the second time in two seasons, the defending-champion Celtics (29-7) came undone in overtime, and they've quickly gone from unbeatable to vulnerable; they lost for the fifth time in seven games.


76ers 104, Rockets 96:: Andre Iguodala scored 28 points and reeling Philadelphia (14-20) returned home from a dreadful road trip to beat Houston (21-15).

The Sixers needed to escape the Lone Star State to finally defeat a team from Texas. They lost at Dallas and San Antonio in the final two games of a 1-5 road trip and had lost five of seven overall, parking them in last place in the Atlantic Division.

Thunder 107, Knicks 99:: Kevin Durant had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Jeff Green scored 27 points, and Oklahoma City held off visiting New York (13-20).

Oklahoma City (5-30) continued its recent offensive surge, shooting 52.7 percent from the field, including an 11-for-16 performance by Durant, but nearly blew a 23-point second-half lead before recovering.

Bulls 99, Kings 94:: Ben Gordon scored 24 points and Chicago (15-20) beat visiting Sacramento (8-28) to end a three-game losing streak.

The Bulls converted 33 of 36 free throws, and the three foul shots they missed nearly cost them the game.


Timberwolves 94, Grizzlies 87: : Randy Foye scored 23 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 40 seconds left, and visiting Minnesota (9-25) weathered a late rally to beat Memphis (11-24).

Mavericks 107, Clippers 102: : Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 37 seconds left right after he blocked a shot, and host Dallas (21-13) survived for a victory over short-handed Los Angeles (8-26).

The Mavericks needed a game-ending 11-1 run to avoid being upset at home by Los Angeles, which had only eight players in uniform because of injuries and a suspension.