for this game

Anthony, Billups lead Nuggets over Grizzlies

Nov 10, 2008 - 5:05 AM By Blake Redabaugh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- While it hasn't been pretty, the trade for Chauncey Billups has worked out so far for the Denver Nuggets.

Billups scored 16 points, had 10 assists and six rebounds and Carmelo Anthony added 24 points as the Nuggets defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 100-90, on Sunday night at the Pepsi Center.

Billups was acquired on Tuesday in a blockbuster deal that sent Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons. He made his debut on Friday night, a 108-105 victory for the Nuggets over the Dallas Mavericks.

I'm learning a lot every game," Billups said. "Just personnel stuff, who likes the ball where, how to get different guys to be aggressive and affective. We're doing a good job."

The Grizzlies, who dropped to 1-4 on the road, were led by rookie O.J. Mayo with 31 points. Rudy Gay chipped in with 16 but shot 4-of-17 from the field and missed all seven of his shots from the arc.

Nene added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets, who had six players reach double figures.

"We had a lot of guys rolling," Billups said. "I think when you got that many weapons it's tough to just load up on anybody. In the past you could just load up on Carmelo and hope that doesn't get more than 30."

Mayo's hot hand in this one gave the Grizzlies a 34-28 lead at the end of the first quarter. The third overall pick scored 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting, including three 3-pointers, in the quarter.

"My teammates did a tremendous job of finding me," Mayo said. "I got the opportunity to knock down some open shots and I was able to do that."

Memphis took a 54-53 into halftime but went ice cold midway through the third quarter. After Gay's jump shot with 9:41 remaining made it 58-53 the Grizzlies went over four and a half minutes without a point.

Denver took advantage with a 10-0 run during the Memphis drought and held a 73-69 lead heading into the final quarter. The Grizzlies shot 4-for-18 (22 percent) from the field during the third quarter.

"They came out (in the second half) with more solid energy," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavoroni said. "They made nice adjustments."

"Defensively we were great," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We wore them down as the game went on. It wasn't an easy win."

The Memphis offense remained frigid in the final quarter as the Nuggets used a 14-4 run to make it 92-80 with 4:58 remaining in the game. Anthony scored five points during the run and finished with nine in the quarter.

"I was just trying to get my rhythm," Anthony said. "Our chemistry is coming along pretty well so far trying to get everybody involved in the game and making everybody better."