Billups, Nuggets edge MavericksNov 8, 2008 - 7:33 AM By Derek Nagy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DENVER (Ticker) -- Maybe, Chauncey Billups brought some luck to Denver along with his big shots.
Nene stole the ball from Brandon Bass with just over 13 seconds remaining as the new-look Nuggets held on for a 108-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.
"I told the guys that was on me, that's on the coach. We've got to learn from it," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
Carmelo Anthony tied his season high with 28 points and made four crucial free throws down the stretch as the Nuggets won for the second time this season. Anthony was 14-of-14 from the line.
"We executed our plays in the fourth quarter. We will only get better at that," Anthony said.
Gerald Green's desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer went off the front rim.
Jason Kidd had missed a potential game-tying free throw with just over 20 seconds remaining in an otherwise outstanding performance as the Mavs lost their first road game.
Kidd scored a season-high 22 points and had nine assists and Dirk Nowitzki added 23 points as the Mavs lost despite six players scoring in double figures.
"We were trying to get Dirk to come down and face up down low, and we don't know if it would have worked," Kidd said. "The biggest thing was it wasn't coach's fault. I missed a free throw, we turned the ball over in key situations when we got stops. We've got to win these close games."
Billups, obtained by Denver in a trade with Detroit for superstar Allen Iverson on Monday, had 15 points, four rebounds and three assists in his first game back in his hometown.
"I had some good looks ... just didn't knock them down," Billups said. "I haven't played since last Friday so I am just getting my rhythm. I didn't really play well in the second half, but none of that matters to me, just the wins and losses."
He spoke to the crowd prior to tip-off, thanked team owner Stan Kroenke and promised to give it his all to make the Nuggets a championship contender.
"No doubt, no matter what happens, I'm always happy to be home. Always," Billups said.
In a close game that saw the biggest lead at 10 by Denver, the teams traded baskets in a furious fourth quarter that saw six lead changes.
Billups had his shot blocked in the final minute and the Mavericks raced up the court. Kidd drove hard to the hoop, sank the layup and was fouled. He missed the free throw, leaving Denver ahead 103-102.
Billups was fouled but missed the first before hitting the second with 17.5 seconds left.
Nene then stripped Bass with 12.2 seconds left. Anthony was fouled and hit both free throws to make it 106-102.
Jason Terry hit a 3-pointer to bring Dallas within one with 1.1 seconds left.
Anthony hit two more free throws with four-tenths of a second left, and Gerald Green missed a final shot as Denver escaped.
DENVER 108 FINAL
Nov 8 1:17 AM
DENVER 79 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 8 12:28 AM
DENVER 48 HALFTIME
Nov 7 11:41 PM
DENVER 26 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 7 11:07 PM
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