Anthony erupts for 36 as Nuggets pay back Pacers

DENVER (Reuters) - Carmelo Anthony got off to a sluggish start but caught fire in the third quarter as the Denver Nuggets crushed the Indiana Pacers 121-107 on Sunday.

The Pacers had blown out the Nuggets 144-113 on November 9 but on Sunday it was Denver (25-18) dishing out the damage, earning their fifth win in their last seven games.

Anthony, who had recently been booed by his home crowd as trade rumors swirled, missed his first six shots but wound up making 14 of 27 and finishing with 36 points.

He made a career-best six three-pointers in the third quarter alone, where he tallied 23 points, to put his team in control.

"Regardless if I start off slow , 0-for-4, 0-for-5, that's just getting warmed up for me," Anthony told reporters. "As the game went on things started to open up for me."

Denver seized an eight-point lead at halftime and led by 15 after three quarters as Anthony found his range. "There is no question he had it rolling," said Nuggets coach George Karl. "I thought the passing found him a lot. It would be great if we could find him on the weak side a little more often."

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)