<
>

Martin, 'Melo help Denver end Mavs' 13-game win streak

DENVER (AP) -- After spending a week answering questions about
his character and his health, Kenyon Martin let his game do the
talking.

Martin scored a season-high 34 points, while Carmelo Anthony
added 24 points and a career-high 10 assists in the Denver Nuggets'
113-104 win over Dallas on Friday night, snapping the Mavericks'
13-game winning streak.

"I think I did, didn't I?" Martin responded when asked if his
play did the talking Friday. "I know I can play basketball, my
teammates know I can play, and that's the only thing that matters
at the end of the day."

Keith Van Horn scored 21 points and Jerry Stackhouse added 20
for the Mavericks, who failed to tie their franchise record of 14
straight wins set during the 2002-03 season.

Martin's stellar game came after a difficult week, when he was
forced to answer questions about why he left for the locker room
with 3 minutes remaining in Denver's loss at Utah on Feb. 1 and
about his involvement in a verbal confrontation between people in
the crowd on Wednesday.

Two fans accused Martin of telling a man to confront them after
one heckled Martin for sitting out the game with an injured knee.
One fan later said he exchanged words with Martin after the game.
No police report was filed.

Martin has said he knew the man, but denied being involved in
the incident. In both cases, he accused the media of creating
problems.

Martin refused to comment on the incident Friday night, and his
good game didn't put him in a good mood with the press. He
exchanged obscenities with a radio reporter while he was getting
dressed. The reporter was escorted out of the locker room.

The Nuggets had lost six of their last seven games and were
playing without starting center Marcus Camby, who was out with a
lower back strain.

But they easily knocked the Mavericks out of first place in the
Southwest Division. Dallas never led in the game, which appeared
settled after the first quarter.

"You think a streak is never going to come to an end," Dallas
coach Avery Johnson said. "When it does, it doesn't feel good."

After their horrible start in their loss Wednesday against
Chicago, the Nuggets made coming out quickly and with intensity a
priority during practice Thursday. Apparently it worked.

Denver controlled the pace, making steals and creating
turnovers, while Dallas -- which had held all its opponent below 100
points during its winning streak -- looked flat footed one night
after beating Miami by 36 points.

"We wanted to run," Martin said. "They traveled last night,
played yesterday. So we just wanted to come out in this altitude.
It's not the easiest place to play."

The Nuggets led by as many as 19 in the first quarter before
taking a 62-52 lead into halftime.

"We were lethargic physically and mentally," Johnson said.
"We didn't show up. We didn't have that juice that we normally
have off the bench."

Denver didn't let up in the second half, with Martin scoring six
points to put Denver ahead 74-59 with 7:04 remaining in the third.

The Nuggets scored 31 fast-break points and 32 points off of
Dallas' season-high 24 turnovers. The Nuggets also outscored the
Mavericks at the free throw line, making 22-of-29, compared with
14-of-17 for Dallas.

"We played right into their game," Dallas' Josh Howard said.

The Nuggets' previous four defeats had come to sub-.500 teams,
making their complete dominance over the Mavericks surprising.

"It seems like we always pull a trick out of our bag when we
play a top team in the NBA," Anthony said. "If we could do that
against the lower teams, then we would be in pretty good shape."

Game Notes
Anthony's previous assist record was nine, set on Dec. 10,
2004, against Toronto. ... Martin finished one short of his
career-high 35 points, which he scored against the Seattle
Supersonics on Feb. 3, 2003, when he played for the New Jersey
Nets. ... The Mavericks' next game is Monday against the Knicks,
the last team to beat them before their winning streak began.