NBA Game Summary - Minnesota at Denver
(Sunday, November 16th)
Final Score: Denver 90, Minnesota 84
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The acquisition of Chauncey Billups continues to pay early dividends for the Nuggets, as the guard scored a game-high 26 points, including a critical three-pointer in crunch time, to seal Denver's 90-84 victory over the reeling Minnesota Timberwolves.
Billups, acquired in a November 3 trade that sent Allen Iverson to Detroit, added five assists and five rebounds for the Nuggets, who have won five of six with Billups in the lineup. Carmelo Anthony contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds to the winning effort.
J.R. Smith and Linas Kleiza came off the bench and posted 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the victors.
Al Jefferson's 20 points and 14 boards weren't enough to snap Minnesota's seven-game slide. Randy Foye recorded 18 points, six assists and five rebounds in defeat.
A Smith three-pointer cut the Nuggets' deficit to 80-78 with 3:42 to play in the game. After a defensive stop, Anthony was fouled and made the first free throw before missing the second.
Nene came up with the offensive rebound off the miss and fed a cutting Anthony, who stuffed home a two-handed dunk to take the lead, 81-80, with 2:19 showing on the clock.
After the teams exchanged turnovers, Minnesota missed a three and committed an offensive foul with its next two possessions.
Billups then made a deep three-pointer and Anthony picked the ball away from Mike Miller on the other end. Anthony's subsequent two free throws made it a six-point game to seal the win.
"We won and that's good," Anthony said. "It was an ugly win. We are in a great situation right now. We are winning games defensively while trying to find our offense."
Denver led 27-17 after one period, only to have Minnesota cut its deficit to 44-40 at the break.
The 'Wolves jumped ahead 65-56 with three minutes to play in the third behind a 9-2 run, but Billups drained two threes and Anthony made a pair at the stripe to send the Nuggets into the fourth quarter behind, 67-65.
"The turning point tonight was the last two minutes of the third quarter," Minnesota head coach Randy Wittman said. "We were up nine and led by only two at the [end of the] quarter. We just have to learn to push through this."
Minnesota scored the first five points of the fourth quarter and were ahead 78-69 at the midway point.
The Nuggets won all four meetings with Minnesota last year and are unbeaten in the past six matchups against the Timberwolves...Minnesota has lost four in a row at Denver...Kenyon Martin had 10 points and seven rebounds for Denver, while Nene added 12 points...Ryan Gomes compiled 12 points, four boards and four assists for Minnesota.
11/17 00:10:08 ET