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News » Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-11-22

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-11-22

Denver Nuggets Getting Inside 2009-11-22Nuggets guard J.R. Smith, who has had a number of off-the-court problems in recent years, has matured in that regard. On the court, though, Smith still has some work to do.

Smith's problem always has been his inconsistency. And that again has reared its head.

After returning from a seven-game NBA suspension to start the season, Smith got into a groove. Over his next three games, he averaged 22.3 points, including 29 on Tuesday against Toronto.

But in Friday's game at the Los Angeles Clippers, the six-year veteran went scoreless in the first three quarters and looked bad. He did score nine points in the fourth quarter, but it was too late, and the Nuggets lost 106-99.

On Saturday at home against Chicago, there was more inconsistency early on from Smith. He was off his game in the first half, scoring just four points on 2-of-6 shooting as the Nuggets fell behind 52-49. But Smith rebounded with 15 points in the second half to finish with 19, and the Nuggets won 112-93.

Nuggets coach George Karl believes Smith sometimes tries to do too much. Karl even thought in the guard's big game against the Raptors that Smith was flirting with danger. In that game, Smith shot 11-for-17, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range, in just 22 minutes.

"J.R. does some incredible things," Karl said. "But I still think that offensively we've got to be more fundamentally together. We try to hit home runs way too often and not take the singles or doubles right there in front of us. Unfortunately, when you hit a lot of home runs and you're swinging for the fences, it's sometimes not always the best thing for you."

While Karl shifted from Smith to "we," it was clear he was talking about Smith. The guard remains a great talent, but consistency remains a problem.

NUGGETS 112, BULLS 93: It went from being a rout one way to a rout the other way.

Chicago took a 27-14 lead after the first quarter Saturday on the road against a Denver team that still was groggy after having played the previous night on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers.

But the lead didn't last for long. The Nuggets outscored the Bulls 98-66 the rest of the way to raise their home record this season to 5-0, winning their 15th consecutive regular-season home game over two seasons.

Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 30 points. Point guard Chauncey Billups added 21.

Guard Derrick Rose scored a team-high 28 points for Chicago.

The Nuggets got the win by really turning up their defense in the second half. The Bulls led 52-49 at halftime before being outscored 63-41 in the second half.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 22, 2009


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