<
>

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

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."