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News » Nuggets dominate after slow first half NUGGETS 112, BULLS 93

Nuggets dominate after slow first half NUGGETS 112, BULLS 93

Nuggets dominate after slow first half NUGGETS 112, BULLS 93 Wouldn't you know, the Bulls - again! - hoisted a fourth-quarter, final-second shot against the Nuggets . It was a layup by Jannero Pargo, who cut the Denver lead to 19.

Yes, the Nuggets slapped around the Bulls on Saturday night 112-93, one night after Denver blew a come-back-to-

bite-you game at the Clippers.

In the Nuggets' Nov. 10 win at Chicago (6-6), Brad Miller appeared to have hit a game-winning shot, but replays showed the ball was still on his fingertips when the buzzer sounded.

Fast-forward to Saturday and it appeared, if anything, this game would also be close (52-49 Chicago at the half) - but then came the second half, when Denver outscored Chicago 63-41.

"As I told the team, I'm excited about what we can become," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We're 9-4, and I think everybody feels we've played good Basketball but we haven't played great Basketball. There's room for improvement. And with our personality, we've had a rotation player miss nine out of 12 games."

With 8.4 seconds left in the third quarter, the Nuggets' J.R. Smith had just four points. But he then splashed a 3 and went on a fourth-quarter binge, totaling 19 points on the "explosive" night, as Karl described it.

On one fourth-quarter play, Smith leaped for a dunk so far from the hoop, it seemed he walked on air while he approached the rim for a mammoth slam. Asked if that was his best dunk of the season, Smith smirked, reminding the questioner that there are still 69 games for him to top that dunk.

The Nuggets have won 15 straight regular-season home games dating to last season, the team's third-longest home streak since joining the NBA in 1976. Whether it's the fans, the altitude or some magical intangible, "People know when they come in this building, you're going to have to wear your hard hat - you're going to have to beat us," Denver guard Chauncey Billups said. "We have that respect around the league."

Billups didn't score in double figures in any of the previous three games, playing through lingering pain in his knees. Karl persuaded him to shoot the 3-ball with confidence, and Billups made three 3s on Saturday en route to a 21-point performance in just 31 minutes.

The evening provided a clash of old-school and new-school point guards, as Billups went head-to-head with Chicago's Derrick Rose, who scored a team-high 28 points while fearlessly shooting jumpers in the face of power forwards.

But Rose didn't score a game-high - that distinction belonged to Denver's Carmelo Anthony, who scored 30 points, his ninth game with 30-plus. Oh, and he tallied 11 rebounds and seven assists, another splendid night for the NBA's leading scorer.

Benjamin Hochman: 303-954-1294 or NuggetsRecap

What you might

have missed

Nuggets coach George Karl didn't play guard Anthony Carter, even though Carter was healthy enough to play, Karl said after the game. "In our coaches meeting, we discussed that maybe A.C. could give us a lift. But we got behind, and changing our (rotation) was something I didn't want to do," he said. Reserve guard Ty Lawson played 22 minutes.

Final thought

After an embarrassing loss, Denver bounced back strong against Chicago, a rested team looking for


Up next

Tuesday vs. New Jersey,

7 p.m.

Benjamin Hochman,

The Denver Post

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 24, 2009


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