Anthony returns and helps Knicks down Nuggets

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Carmelo Anthony AFP PHOTO

NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points in his return from injury Sunday to help the New York Knicks beat his former NBA team Denver 112-106 and remain perfect at home this season.

Anthony sat out two games after needing stitches to close a cut on the middle finger of his left hand, which he sustained in a game on Wednesday against Charlotte.

Jason Kidd scored 17 points with seven assists for the Knicks, who have now won eight of eight at Madison Square Garden this season. They are 15-5 overall and lead the Eastern Conference.

Tyson Chandler connected on 7-of-8 from the floor to score 15 points, and also pulled down 12 rebounds for New York.

Ty Lawson led six Denver players in double figures, scoring 23 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds.

Danilo Gallinari had 21 points and nine rebounds, while Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer chipped in 15 points apiece.

Without Anthony, the NBA’s third-leading scorer, the Knicks had drilled 18 3-pointers to beat the defending champion Miami Heat on Thursday.

But they struggled from the floor in a loss to Chicago on Saturday, and Knicks coach Mike Woodson was pleased to announce shortly before game time that Anthony would start.

Anthony played for just the second time against the Nuggets, who made him the third overall selection in the 2003 draft.

He helped the Nuggets reach the playoffs seven times before he was traded to the Knicks in a three-team deal last year.

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