Billups sparks Nuggets past SpursNov 20, 2008 - 6:09 AM SAN ANTONIO (Ticker) -- Chauncey Billups scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony added 21 to lead the Denver Nuggets to an easy 91-81 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
Billups had an economical night shooting the ball as he made 5-of-8 shots from the field and 9-of-9 from the line. Billups made three 3-pointers and added six assists and five rebounds for Denver.
Kenyon Martin scored 18 points and Nene added 16 for the Nuggets, who put away the game by outscoring the Spurs, 53-33, in the middle two quarters.
""We've had a tough eight or nine games where we've played some tough teams in some tough buildings, and we've been successful," Billups said. "We've just got to try and continue to build on what we've done."
The Nuggets (8-4) now have won four straight and seven of eight. They are 5-1 since shaking things up with the blockbuster trade that sent Allen Iverson to Detroit for Billups.
"Denver has got a good club that can compete with anybody," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Chauncey is a great addition."
Playing without All-Star guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs needed a big game from Tim Duncan, but they did not get it. Duncan was held to 12 points as San Antonio's three-game winning streak came to an end.
"I don't let Tim do what he wants to do. Never have and never will," Martin said. "You try to make it tough as possible on him and not give him the easy looks that he wants."
"They feel good about defending Duncan," Denver coach George Karl said about Martin and Nene. "I enjoyed the defensive intensity of almost every possession."
The Spurs shot 39 percent from the floor and were led by rookie George Hill's 20 points.
"Its disappointing when you lose a game, we learn from it, we learn from our mistakes," Hill said. "We made a couple of bone head moves down the stretch and it hurts us and it shows you, you can't make mistakes.
Michael Finley added 13 points for the Spurs (5-6), who failed to move above .500 for the first time this season.
Denver outscored San Antonio, 28-19, in the second quarter. Martin keyed the surge shooting 5-of-8 from the field in the quarter as the Nuggets opened up a 10-point lead at the break.
"Denver played well and they played well enough to beat us. They played aggressively," Popovich said.
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