Why Melo Almost Didn't Play Last Night

March 4 2010, 8:39 AM
The Denver Nuggets ended their two-game skid last night, silencing the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-90 in a game that evoked laughter by the fourth quarter. The Nuggets were up by nine at halftime and pushed the lead even further in the second half, going up by as many as 40 points at one time (via NBA.com, with video). The 29-point loss was the Thunder's worst of the year. Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 30 points, but he tells NBA.com he hasn't been feeling right since he laid down an epic performance in a win against the Cleveland Cavaliers more than a week ago. He almost didn't play last night, saying he's lost weight and had to ingest fluids through an IV after yesterday morning's shootaround. CBS Sports debates whether Anthony (pictured) is truly one of the game's best players, quoting players and coaches from around the league who say Melo is indeed an elite NBA player but who also question why he can't dominate when the Nuggets start to get worked by other teams. Meanwhile, coach George Karl, who's battling his second bout with the cancer in five years, has become an inspiration for other cancer patients. Garrett Karp, a Rocky Mountain High School senior with Hodgkin's lymphoma, has had an emotional ride with his illness, although the varsity center recently hit a big three-point shot in a losing effort (via CBS4). Things got better for him when he met Karl and the Nuggets at yesterday's shootaround at the Pepsi Center. Karp, who will undergo a bone marrow transplant today at Children's Hospital, tells The Denver Post he was most excited to meet Karl, who says he'll be thinking about Karp today. "I wish him the best," Karl adds. "He looks like a tough, strong kid, and I think I'm a tough, strong guy, so hopefully in six months we'll celebrate us both being cured from cancer."