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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Billups leads in-form Nuggets to win over Spurs

Chauncey Billups scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 91-81 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

The Nuggets have won seven of eight games since acquiring Billups in a trade with the Detroit Pistons two weeks ago.

Billups, an All Star and NBA champion, dished out six assists and Carmelo Anthony added 21 points and nine rebounds as Denver (8-4) snapped a three-game win streak for the Spurs (5-6).

"I have a lot of pride with Denver," Denver native Billups told reporters. "Being able to now have that 'Denver' across my chest just makes me feel good."

Filling the distribution role Denver lacked with the attack-minded Allen Iverson, Billups has been the perfect fit for the Nuggets averaging 18.7 points and 5.8 assists since joining the team.

He scored seven points during an 11-1 run in the third quarter that gave the Nuggets a commanding 75-54 advantage over the Spurs.

Playing without injured guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, San Antonio struggled to 38 percent shooting from the field including just 2-for-17 from the three-point line.

Rookie point guard George Hill led the Spurs with 20 points and Tim Duncan was held to 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Nuggets power forward Kenyon Martin recorded 18 points and seven rebounds in a strong game that included top notch defense against Duncan.

"I never let him do what he wants," Martin said. "I never have, never will."

San Antonio has struggled offensively as of late, averaging just 84 points per contest since Parker was injured on November 7.

The Spurs went more than four minutes without a field goal in the second quarter and fell behind 50-40 at halftime.

"It's a long season," Hill said. "We're not expecting to play our best basketball right now."

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