Before the game, it crossed Brian Shaw's mind to worry a bit about his team's focus on a Friday night.

No, not because it was a Friday night in the city.

But because of what lies ahead. The Nuggets' coach was concerned about a look-ahead factor to a six-game Eastern Conference road swing that starts Sunday morning at Toronto.

The Nuggets proved his anxiousness to be well-founded, but in a frantic ending that featured a missed jumper at the buzzer by New York's Carmelo Anthony, they made enough plays to defeat the Knicks 97-95 at the Pepsi Center.

"We pretty much controlled the game from the onset, which is pretty good," Shaw said. "I thought it was a heck of a defensive stop by Randy Foye at the end of the game, one on one with Carmelo. That defensive possession he played him better than anybody did the entire night, and showed how much we wanted to win the game."

The win is a season-best fifth straight overall and sixth consecutive home win for the suddenly streaking Nuggets.

Ty Lawson, again, was brilliant — and motivated — finishing with 22 points and eight assists against a group of Knicks in Anthony, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin that he once played alongside and now loves to play well against.

The Knicks are as bad as you thought they were. The Knicks' defensive effort was spotty, and their offensive execution was often stuck in quicksand as they waited for Anthony to bail them out.

And even through all of this, New York found a way to muck it up and keep transition opportunities to a minimum. In the second quarter the Knicks held the Nuggets to 40 percent shooting from the field as well as without a 3-pointer. The Knicks were only down six at halftime.

Then, offensively, they placed Anthony at power forward, which gained some traction late in the first half as Nuggets defenders struggled to keep up.

And that continued whenever the Knicks wanted the matchup, but the Nuggets rendered everyone around him ineffective. Melo's shooting percentage wasn't great (8-of-22), but the rest of his team went 22-of-61.