Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points and Chauncey Billups added 24 to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 115-97 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
It was Denver's fourth win in five games, including victories over fellow division leaders Orlando and Cleveland.
Matt Barnes scored a season-high 28 points for Orlando. JJ Redick, with 13 points, and Mickael Pietrus, with 12, were the only other Magic players in double figures.
The Magic were playing without their leading scorer, Vince Carter (shoulder), for a third straight game and the second game of a back to back after winning at Sacramento the night before.
Dwight Howard, who had 30 points and 16 rebounds in the win over the Kings, had 13 rebounds and three blocked shots but was held to 8 points against the Nuggets.
The rugged schedule may have caught up to the short-handed Magic in the third quarter, when the Nuggets outscored them 35-19, going from a three-point deficit at halftime to an 85-72 lead heading into the fourth.
Denver began the decisive quarter with a 12-0 run, finishing the flurry with consecutive 3-pointers by Anthony and Arron Afflalo. Rashard Lewis' 8-foot running jumper broke up the string, but Afflalo, who had 13 points, answered right away with another 3-pointer.
With 4:24 left in the period, Redick connected on a 3-pointer that cut Orlando's deficit to 72-63. From there, though, Denver extended the lead, scoring nine of the next 11 points and moving ahead by 16 when Billups connected from 3-point range with 1:57 left in the period.
By the time J.R. Smith broke free for a fastbreak dunk midway through the fourth quarter, putting Denver up 101-76, the Nuggets were coasting.
It didn't begin that way for Denver.
Anthony sparred verbally with officials and was hit with a technical after they did not call a foul when Anthony felt he was roughed up trying to drive through a double team for a layup in the waning seconds of the second quarter.
The Nuggets got the ball to Anthony for a 3-point try from the top of the key at the buzzer but it bounced off the rim and Denver trailed at the half 53-50.
NOTES: Nuggets G Ty Lawson missed his fourth game in a row with a left ankle sprain. ... Orlando fell to 9-12 in 21 games in Denver.