By Dwayne C. Nelson
Who needs Carmelo Anthony?
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Life without the four-time NBA All-Star began with a win last night for the Denver Nuggets, who dressed only nine players because of this week’s trade.
With ‘Melo and Chauncey Billups finally gone and the drama over, the Nuggets’ J.R. Smith and Ty Lawson stepped up in handling the Memphis Grizzlies, 120-107, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Smith went off for 26 points (six 3-pointers) and eight rebounds, and Lawson chipped in with 21 points, seven assists and six steals. The Griz, who entered the ballgame riding a four-game winning streak, were led by Tony Allen, who also scored 26 and pulled down eight boards.
Here are the rest of last night’s scores with each squad’s top performers.
Boston 115, Golden State 93.
Boston: Kevin Garnett, 24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists.
Golden State: Dorell Wright, 19 points and 6 rebounds.
Miami 117, Sacramento 97.
Miami: LeBron James, 31 points and 8 rebounds.
Sacramento: Samuel Dalembert, 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Lakers 104, Atlanta 80.
Lakers: Kobe Bryant, 20 points.
Atlanta: Joe Johnson, 14 points.
Oklahoma City 111, L.A. Clippers 88.
Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant, 21 points and 8 rebounds.
Clippers: Blake Griffin, 28 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
Charlotte 114, Toronto 101.
Charlotte: D.J. Augustin, 23 points and 8 assists.
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani, 18 points and 8 rebounds.
Indiana 113, Washington 96.
Indiana: Danny Granger, 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Washington: John Wall, 15 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds.
Houston 108, Detroit 100.
Houston: Patrick Patterson, 20 points.
Detroit: Will Bynum, 21 points and 6 assists.
Milwaukee 94, Minnesota 88.
Milwaukee: Brandon Jennings, 27 points and 7 assists.
Minnesota: Kevin Love, 20 points, 17 rebounds and 6 assists.
Dwayne C. Nelson is an arts & entertainment and sports blogger whose content is featured on various Web sites, including Associated Content, Yahoo! Sports and News One. You can now follow him on twitter to stay abreast of his latest posts.