107 - 120 Final
  for this game

No 'Melo? No problem: Nuggets beat Grizzlies

Feb 23, 2011 - 5:54 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - No Carmelo Anthony, no problem.

Dressing only eight players just hours after they finalized a deal to trade their franchise cornerstone to New York, the Denver Nuggets led by as many as 27 points in a 120-107 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

J.R. Smith scored 26 points, Arron Afflalo and Ty Lawson had 21 each and Denver fared just fine without Anthony and fellow trade pieces Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Shelden Williams and Renaldo Balkman.

Tony Allen scored 26 points and O.J. Mayo added 21 off the bench for the Grizzlies, who had a four-game winning streak snapped while losing for the eighth straight time in Denver.

The Grizzlies missed Rudy Gay and his 19.8 points, with the star forward expected to be out at least four weeks with a shoulder injury he suffered in the last game before the All-Star break.

Still, their shorthandedness was nothing compared to Denver's.

The Anthony trade, made official earlier in the day, was part of a three-team deal that involved the Knicks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, 13 players, four draft picks and cash.

It not only left the Nuggets without Anthony, their marquee player since they drafted him No. 3 overall in 2003, but also a hometown favorite and Denver native in Billups.

Afflalo called the situation "tough" but also inevitable.

"Change is not something easy to accept. 'Melo's held down this city for a long time. But it's a change and it was going to take place eventually," he said.

The Nuggets, after just their third win in seven games, should have their new teammates in the lineup when they play the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

Nuggets head coach George Karl said he might insert Knicks plays to help raise the comfort level of Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov. Denver also ended up with Kosta Koufos from Minnesota.

"I think they're just going to have to get used to our terminology," Karl said. "But you don't want to make it too complicated."

As for this game? Kenyon Martin scored the first basket on a layup and the Nuggets never trailed, leading 32-23 after the first quarter and 61-42 at halftime.

They did much of that damage during a 14-0 run in the second quarter, building a 58-34 advantage. Lawson scored five of his 21 points during the burst.

Denver's lead peaked at 27 points several times late in the third quarter and once early in the fourth when Chris Andersen's reverse layup made it 104-77.

The outcome was never in doubt after that.

Karl, saying that players will usually compete at a high level when their backs are against a wall, worried that his guys would nonetheless suffer fatigue with such a short bench.

But he was happy with how they stepped up, even if his post-game demeanor was dour in the aftermath of losing Anthony, Billups and the rest of the departed. Nene and Andersen had 15 points and Gary Forbes chipped in 10.

"I thought Ty was very good and I though Bird (Andersen) gave us his best game of the year," Karl said. "Everybody else was very solid."

A crowd of 14,638 gave the Nuggets a standing ovation as the final seconds ticked off the clock at the end of the fourth quarter -- appreciative of the effort, for sure, and some probably happy that the months-long speculation about Anthony was finally over.

Said Karl: "There was an enjoyment to the game that we haven't had for a while."

When news of the trade first broke Monday night, the Nuggets coach said he was "glad" the ordeal was finally over and that the trade was an opportunity for the Nuggets to re-invent themselves.

That time will come, of course. But Tuesday was more about the guys who were left behind, and how they planned to move forward.

Game Notes

Including Allen and Mayo, Memphis had seven players score in double digits. The others were Zach Randolph with 12 points and Marc Gasol, Sam Young, Mike Conley and Darrell Arthur with 10 apiece...The Grizzlies were 9-2 in their last 11 games before the All-Star break. They will remain on the road to play Minnesota on Wednesday.

  • 22
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Grizzlies 107, Nuggets 120  FinalFeb 23 12:46 PM

  • MEMPHIS: 107
    DENVER: 120

    Feb 22 11:30 PM

  • MEMPHIS: 76
    DENVER: 102
    End of 3rd

    Feb 22 10:57 PM

  • MEMPHIS: 42
    DENVER: 61

    Feb 22 10:10 PM

  • MEMPHIS: 23
    DENVER: 32
    End of 1st

    Feb 22 9:35 PM

  • MEMPHIS: 0
    DENVER: 0
    1st Quarter - 12:00

    Feb 22 9:12 PM
  • 17
    darkman Added 5 roots

    Grizzlies vs. NuggetsFeb 21 11:58 AM
  • 12
    RUWTbot Added 12 roots

    Grizzlies vs. NuggetsJan 2 6:01 AM