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Julio Cortez, Associated Press
A spectator has a message for Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony during pre-game warmups of an NBA basketball game against the New Jersey Nets, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011, in Newark, N.J.

NEWARK, N.J. — Brook Lopez scored 27 points and Devin Harris had a career-high 18 assists as the Nets gave Carmelo Anthony an indication why he might want to play for New Jersey with a 115-99 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

The game was the first between the teams since Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told his team to halt extended trade talks with Denver for Anthony a little less than two weeks ago, saying the drawn-out negotiations were hurting his team.

The Nets (15-34) are 5-3 since the talks ended, but Anthony gave the fans who jeered and cheered him at different times a clear indication why he is so valued, scoring 37 points — two shy of his season high — to keep his team in the game.