Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony runs the court on defense after hitting a basket against the New York Knicks in the first quarter of the game on Tuesday.
Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony runs the court on defense after hitting a basket against the New York Knicks in the first quarter of the game on Tuesday.

DENVER — Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and the Denver Nuggets clinched a playoff spot by holding on for a 111-104 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night after blowing most of a 27-point, second-quarter lead.

The Nuggets’ win, coupled with San Antonio’s 96-95 loss to Oklahoma City, moved Denver into the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference heading into the final two weeks of the season.

Denver’s 49-26 record is its best 73-game mark since joining the NBA in 1976. The Nuggets clinched a playoff spot for the sixth straight season. Only Dallas, Detroit and San Antonio have also made the playoffs every year since 2003-04.

Denver has won nine of 10 and New York has lost nine of 10, so a mismatch was expected, and the Nuggets obliged by racing out to a 62-35 led with five minutes left in the first half.

That’s when they got sloppy, and the Knicks, who were led by Nate Robinson’s 30 points, got hot.

The Knicks used a 26-3 spurt spanning halftime to pull to 65-61 and make a game of it, much to the chagrin of the Pepsi Center crowd that had settled in for another blowout from the Nuggets, who are vying for home-court advantage in the playoffs for the first time in Anthony’s six seasons in the NBA.