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Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2010, file photo, San Francisco Giants rush the field as Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard reacts after striking out looking in the ninth inning of Game 6 of baseball's National League Championship Series in Philadelphia. Howard had a long time to think about the final pitch he saw _ a called third strike that ended the Phillies' quest for a third straight NL pennant. The slugger might be more eager than anyone to start this season. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets has wanted to play for the New York Knicks for a long time.

Today he appears closer than ever to reaching that goal.

The Knicks have upped the ante to get the Nuggets' all-star forward, offering forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, point guard Raymond Felton, center Eddy Curry and a first-round draft pick (to be obtained from Minnesota) for Anthony, Denver guard Chauncey Billups and fill-in players to complete NBA salary-matching requirements, a source said Friday night. Yahoo.com first reported the parameters of the deal.

Also upping the ante in the Anthony sweepstakes are the Nets, although it's doubtful Anthony would sign a contract extension to facilitate a trade with New Jersey.

The Nets' latest offer is also their best: four No. 1 draft picks and rookie forward Derrick Favors, guards Devin Harris and Ben Uzoh and the expiring contract of forward Troy Murphy. Going to the Nets would be Anthony, Billups and bench players to make the salaries match.

ROOKIE CHALLENGE: Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins had 33 points and 14 rebounds, Washington's John Wall racked up 22 assists, and the rookies rallied to beat the sophomores 148-140.

All-Star Blake Griffin bounced back from an elbow to the nose to score 14 points for the rookies, but the Clippers' young superstar watched his team's late surge from the bench despite thousands of children in the Staples Center crowd chanting, "We want Blake!"

Los Angeles native James Harden scored 30 points and San Antonio's DeJuan Blair had 28 points and 15 rebounds for the sophomores.