It's not a joyous holiday for Carmelo Anthony this Christmas, as the Denver Nuggets forward mourns the loss of his sister, Michelle Anthony, who died of a pre-existing medical condition on Wednesday.
Because of his loss, Anthony will be with family in Baltimore as the Denver Nuggets match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday evening.
This will be the second straight game that Melo will miss because of the death, and it is expected that J.R. Smith will start in his place again at forward. Smith's first start, in a 109-103 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday, was by most measures a success, as Smith netted 22 points.
Wednesday's game also saw the return of three of Denver's key players, each coming off an injury: Kenyon Martin, Chris Andersen the Birdman, and Chauncey Billups.
Billups, who had missed three games because of a wrist injury, finished that game with 20 points and seven assists. K-Mart scored only eight on 4-of-5 shooting, but grabbed five boards in 17 minutes of play. Bird finished with four points in 19 minutes.
OKC is led by blossoming superstar Kevin Durant who leads the team in scoring and rebounding. Guard Russell Westbrook is also am emerging star and leads the Thunder in assists and steals.
The game can be seen on ESPN at 6:00 p.m. MT.