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Anthony helps Nuggets hold off Love's 43 points

Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and had a key block to help the Denver Nuggets withstand Kevin Love's career-high 43-point performance for a 115-113 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.

Ty Lawson added 23 points and J.R. Smith had 18 for the Nuggets, who dealt the short-handed Timberwolves their 11th straight road loss.

Michael Beasley had 17 points for Minnesota and Martell Webster and Jonny Flynn added 12 points apiece for Minnesota. Love also had 17 rebounds for his 14th consecutive double-double.

It didn't help that the Timberwolves were missing two of their top post players, center Darko Milicic and forward Nikola Pekovic, who were both sidelined with sprained ankles.

The Nuggets were without guard Chauncey Billups (wrist) for a third consecutive game but still had plenty of firepower to beat the Timberwolves for the 18th time in 22 meetings.

Arron Afflalo, who finished with 17 points, hit a 3-pointer with 1:38 left in the third quarter to push the Nuggets' lead to 88-68 but Minnesota scored the last seven points in the period and trailed 88-75 heading into the fourth.

The Timberwolves chipped away at the Nuggets' advantage. A pair of free throws by Love followed by Flynn's driving layup made it 104-97 and later, Love hit his fifth 3-pointer, narrowing Denver's lead to 107-102 with 4:29 remaining.

Love grabbed an offensive rebound with 1:22 left but his attempted putback, which would have gotten Minnesota within four, was blocked by Anthony, and Smith hit a 3-pointer on the other end to make it 115-106 Denver with 1:12 remaining.

Minnesota kept coming, though, scoring seven consecutive points, including a 20-foot jumper by Webster with 27.3 seconds remaining pulling the Timberwolves within two. Anthony missed a shot in the final seconds but the ball went out of bounds off the Timberwolves.

Down by 12 halftime, the Timberwolves began the third quarter with Michael Beasley finally connecting on a 15-foot jumper after missing all eight of his shots in the first half. The Nuggets scored nine of the next 11 points to stretch their lead to 71-54, capped by Nene's dunk at the end of a fastbreak triggered by Beasley's missed jumper.

Minnesota struggled to find the range in the first half, shooting 38.3 percent from the field (18 for 47) and falling behind 62-50. Michael Beasley epitomized the Timberwolves' shooting problems, missing all eight of his shots in the first half.

Notes: During a pre-game news conference, Nuggets coach George Karl declined comment on his league-imposed $25,000 fine for public remarks about the officiating following Denver's 113-112 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. ... Minnesota has not won on the road since Nov. 10, when the Timberwolves beat Sacramento 98-89 for their only victory away from home this season. ... Love has scored 30 or more points four times this season.