for this game

Billups, Nuggets blow past Raptors

Dec 3, 2008 - 5:43 AM By Derek Nagy PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets have not been known for their defense in recent years. Maybe, they should be now.

Chauncey Billups scored 24 points and dished out a season-high 14 assists and the Nuggets clamped down defensively on the Toronto Raptors in a 132-93 rout Tuesday night.

Denver held Toronto to a season-low 37 percent shooting (34-of-93) and easily handed the Raptors their worst defeat of the season.

"To hold them the to the percentage we did, that's a tough team," Billups said. "They have a great point guard, two guys who are All-Stars and great shooters, so you have to pick your poison. You hope whichever one you pick doesn't hurt you and tonight we were lucky and it didn't."

At 13-6, the Nuggets tied the franchise record for their best record after 19 games. Denver also was 13-6 in the 1976-77 and 1984-85 campaigns.

Billups came into Tuesday's game after setting season highs for points in each of the last two games. He was on fire again against Toronto, going 8-of-12 from the field for his third consecutive game with at least 20 points.

"I kind of got it going with my shot," Billups said. "Anybody that gets it going like that, no matter who you are, it's tough to stop."

All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who left Sunday's game with a sore right elbow after scoring just two points to snap his NBA-leading double-digit scoring streak at 222 games, looked no worse for wear after two days off. The sixth-year vet scored 23 points for his 10th game of 20 or more points this season.

"It was still hurting," Anthony said of his elbow. "I tried to fight through the pain, but we have a lot of games left."

Denver improved to 12-3 since acquiring Billups from Detroit on November 3.

"I think we're heading in a good direction," Anthony said. "He's bringing that leadership to the team, helping everybody out. When you look at the scoreboard you see five, six guys in double figures in scoring and before, we didn't really have that."

The Nuggets grabbed the lead early in the first quarter and never looked back, finishing the quarter with a 33-19 advantage. They led by 19 at halftime and 32 at the end of the third.

"It was one of those games where it seemed like everything worked," Billups said. "Throughout a season you usually get two or three of those games and unfortunately you get those on the other side as well. When we have games like this, it's really fun, and you have to take advantage of it."

Chris Bosh was the lone bright spot for Toronto, as he collected 24 points and 12 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season.

"I don't know if it was less of us or more of them, but it was not good," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "It was everything. I'm extremely disappointed in the way we came out."

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