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News » Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-11-18

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-11-18

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-11-18--The Nuggets might have scored 130 points Tuesday against Toronto, but they're still thinking about defense.

"With the way we can score the ball, if we play 15 game minutes or 16 game minutes of good, solid defense, it's going to lead us to having a double-figure lead most of the time," said Denver guard Chauncey Billups.

Such was the case against the Raptors. The Nuggets didn't play a lot of defense in the first half, allowing Toronto to shoot 51 percent. The score was 64-64.

But the Nuggets stepped it up in the second half. They outscored the Raptors 66-48 while holding them to 40.5 percent shooting.

"I can't be disappointed with the defense of the second half besides the rebounding," said coach George Karl, whose team was outrebounded 22-14.

Karl is on a continuous quest to have his team play good defense.

"History says you don't win championships in this league unless you're a very good defensive team," Karl said.

--In his first game back after missing the first seven games because of an NBA suspension, Nuggets guard J.R. Smith shot just 1-of-9 for five points Nov. 10 at Chicago.

It's been smooth sailing ever since.

In his last three games, Smith has averaged 22.3 points while shooting 25-of-48. He shot 11-of-17, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, while scoring 29 in Tuesday's 130-112 win over Toronto.

"I don't think I missed a groove at all," Smith said. "I had practice time. It's not like the game. But they always say that practice is harder than the game. So it works out perfect."

By taking 17 shots in 22 minutes, including nine three-pointers, Nuggets coach George Karl said Smith was perhaps swinging for home runs too much. But it was hard for Karl to complain too much after an 18-point win.

"I felt great," was Smith's take on the evening.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "One of those Doug Moe games. In the first half, we were trying to outscore them bucket for bucket." -- Forward Carmelo Anthony, referring to the high-scoring Moe-coached Denver teams of the 1980s. In a 130-112 win Tuesday over Toronto, the score was tied 64-64 at halftime before the Nuggets outscored the Raptors 66-48 in the second half.

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Added: November 18, 2009


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