Anthony misses fifth straight game vs. Gasol-less Grizzlies

Updated: January 30, 2008, 10:46 PM ET
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Denver forward Carmelo Anthony, the NBA's fourth-leading scorer, sat out his fifth straight game Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. Denver defeated Memphis, 106-102.

Anthony, who averages 25.5 points, sprained his left ankle against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 21. The Nuggets, who started the night a half-game behind the Utah Jazz for the lead in the Western Conference's Northwest Division, are 2-2 since Anthony's injury.

With Chucky Atkins also out after surgery on a right groin/abdominal strain, and Nene's recovery from testicular cancer, the Nuggets had only 10 players available.

The Grizzlies had even fewer, dressing nine players because of injuries, a suspension and the release of two players this week.

Pau Gasol, the team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder, was on the active list, but dressed in street clothes, because of a lingering sore back. Gasol missed two games with the back ailment, before playing 28 minutes in the Grizzlies' 103-84 loss to Dallas on Monday.

The Grizzlies had 14 players on their roster at the start of the week, but released veteran guard Damon Stoudamire on Monday. The Grizzlies declined to sign forward Bobby Jones after his second 10-day contract expired on Tuesday, the same day they suspended forward Stromile Swift for Wednesday's game for an exchange with coach Marc Iavaroni against Dallas.

That brought the available roster to 11. Rookie guard Mike Conley was placed on inactive status with a chest contusion that has caused him to miss three straight games. Add the injured Gasol to those unavailable, and the Grizzlies were left with nine.

League rules require a team have 12 active players and at least one on the inactive list for a game. But Grizzlies officials said the league allows a two-week window for teams to get the roster numbers up to the minimum.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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