NBA

NBA Playoffs 2021: Anthony surprised by jeers as Blazers beat Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony was booed by the Denver Nuggets fans as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated his former team in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs.

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NBA Playoffs 2021: Carmelo Anthony surprised by boos at Blazers rock Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony was surprised to be booed by Denver Nuggets fans before he and the Portland Trail Blazers silenced the home crowd in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs.

Portland scored a 123-109 road win to get the early upper hand in the best-of-seven series.

The Denver fans that once worshipped Anthony got on his back in Saturday's game, jeering the 10-time All-Star who began his career as a teenager with the Nuggets.

"It's cool man. I love them too. I love those guys too," said Anthony afterwards. "It's been what, almost 10 years now since I've been here. The love is there man. They love me, they hate me. I can't do nothing about that.

"I've just got to go out there and smile, enjoy myself and have fun and play basketball. Whatever they have to say, let them say, it's not my concern."

"I don't have the answer to that" - Anthony at a loss to explain boos

Asked if he could explain the fans' reaction, Anthony, who scored 18 points, was stumped. "I don't have that answer. I don't know what it is," he said. "I gave my all here for seven and a half, eight years.

"I never said anything bad about Denver, the fans, the organisation, the players, I never complained. It's like I was birthed here with the Denver Nuggets. I started my career here and this will always be a special place for me."

"It's a great time to make it happen" - Trail Blazers star enjoys first win back in Denver

It was Anthony's first win back in Denver since he departed in February 2011 to join the New York Knicks.

Coming up for his 37th birthday next Saturday, it was high time he tasted that winning feeling back in his one-time home city.

"I didn't even know that, this is the first win since I got traded," Anthony said. "It's not even something I ever even thought about, to be honest with you.

"Somebody told me that when I was in the locker room after the game but I'll take it. I'll take my first win being Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs. It's a great time to make it happen, get that first win here in Denver."