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News » Smith, Nuggets rally in fourth to down Bulls

Smith, Nuggets rally in fourth to down Bulls

Smith, Nuggets rally in fourth to down Bulls

Luol Deng added 22 points, and Noah had 10 for the Bulls, who lost for the 10th time in their last 11 games in Denver.

"I thought it started in the second quarter when Chauncey took over and got them back in," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "In the third quarter, Carmelo and the fourth quarter, J.R. got going a little bit. They've got three big scorers. I thought our energy, our effort, the physical part of the game; we were not near at the level we need to be at."

Trailing 27-14 after a sluggish first quarter, the Nuggets cut in to the Bulls' advantage in the last 4:34 of the second quarter, when they outscored Chicago 17-7 to pull to 52-49 at halftime.

Billups was at the center of the burst, feeding Nene inside for a dunk and going to the basket himself for 13 of his 14 second-quarter points.


Bulls center Aaron Gray, out all season with a left fibula stress fracture, could be nearing a return. He joined the Bulls in Denver, but Del Negro said he'd like to see him practice a few times and get a better feel for his conditioning before putting him back on the floor. ... Chris Andersen, inactive Friday night because of right knee tendinitis, was back in action for the Nuggets. ... The Nuggets last lost a regular-season game at the Pepsi Center on March 9 to Houston, 97-95.

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Added: November 22, 2009


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