Nuggets combine well to stifle Heat

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DENVER, Colorado (Reuters) - The Denver Nuggets thrashed the Miami Heat 114-96 on Thursday, in a game where a match-up of two of the NBA's top scorers took a back seat to the efficient offense of the home team.

Carmelo Anthony had 22 points to lead six Nuggets into double figures as Denver had little trouble offsetting a 25-point haul from Miami guard Dwyane Wade.

Anthony and Wade, both top selections in the 2003 draft, have been friends and rivals since they entered the league together but Denver has enjoyed 11 wins in 14 meetings between the teams in that span.

This time, the Northwest division-leading Nuggets (14-5) built a 58-42 halftime advantage and sealed the win with a dominant third quarter, where their lead extended to as many as 25 points.

Arron Afflalo had 17 points and J.R. Smith added 16 off the bench as Denver avenged a 96-88 loss to Miami on November 6.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; diting by John O'Brien)