Down 3-1, Nuggets still will be careful with 'Melo

Updated: April 28, 2004, 7:04 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Denver star rookie Carmelo Anthony is questionable for Game 5 of the Nuggets' first-round playoff series against Minnesota on Friday because of sprained left knee.

Anthony was injured in the third quarter of Minnesota's 84-82 victory Tuesday night when he came down on teammate Marcus Camby's foot after grabbing a rebound. Test results Wednesday showed a mild sprain.

"It's 50-50 right now," Anthony said. "It's always going to be like that the day after. I'm going to get some treatments and get some rehab and see how it goes. If I can't go, I can't go. I'm not going to force the issue of trying to go out there and try to prove to the world I can play hurt. I'm not going to do that."

Even though the Nuggets trail 3-1 in the series, coach Jeff Bzdelik agreed Anthony shouldn't try to push it.

"We're going to err on the side of caution," Bzdelik said.

Anthony was struggling even before he got hurt. He missed his first 12 shots in Game 4 before scoring on a breakaway midway through the third quarter, then was injured about a minute later.

Anthony returned four minutes later with a wrap on his knee, but missed three more shots and sat out the final seven minutes after his knee tightened up.

"I wanted to get back in the game," said Anthony, who finished with two points on 1-for-16 shooting. "The game was so close and I really couldn't do nothing out there."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press