Smith, Martin lead Nuggets to win in preseason openerOct 11, 2008 - 3:39 AM By Blake Redabaugh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DENVER (Ticker) -- J.R. Smith scored 21 points and Kenyon Martin added 13 as the Denver Nuggets won their preseason opener, 118-95, over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Denver used a 25-7 run during the second quarter to pull away from the Timberwolves, who fell to 2-1 in the preseason. The Nuggets led 59-39 at halftime and Minnesota never got within 13 points in the second half.
Leading the surge were a pair of newly acquired big men vying for playing time in the absence of Marcus Camby after the 2006-07 NBA Defense Player of the Year was traded to the Clippers during the offseason.
Chris Andersen, a former Nugget who played with the New Orleans Hornets last season and signed with Denver as a free agent, scored five points and Renaldo Balkman added six and three steals during the run.
Andersen finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Balkman, who was acquired in a trade with the New York Knicks, contributed eight.and three boards.
The Timberwolves were led by Corey Brewer's 18 points while rookie Kevin Love, who started for the first time after coming off the bench in the first two preseason games, chipped in with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Minnesota guard Blake Ahearn, last year's NBA D-League Rookie of the Year, added 17 points. The second year guard who signed a one-year contract last month after playing well on the Timberwolves' Las Vegas Summer League team, was 3-of-7 from behind the arc.
The Nuggets were without All-Star Carmelo Anthony due to a bruised left ring finger. He is listed as day-to-day.
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