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Chicago at Denver

Nuggets score 72 in first half, cruise past Bulls

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets feel like they finally have a defense to go with their prolific offense.

Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points, Marcus Camby added 12 points and 20 rebounds and the Denver Nuggets beat the slumping Chicago Bulls 112-91 Tuesday.

Allen Iverson scored 22 points and Kenyon Martin had 13 for the Nuggets, who have won six straight. Denver held the Bulls to 40 percent shooting.

Rookie reserve Joakim Noah had 16 points for Chicago, which fell to 2-8, its worst start since 2004-05 when it was 0-9. The Bulls are 1-3 on their current six-game road trip.

"We're playing defense like we haven't in the past, and it's showing," Martin said. "We've got two of the best scorers in the league, so we know our offense will take care of itself. Defensively, when we bring that focus every night, we're tough to beat."

The Nuggets have held three of their last six opponents to under 40 percent from the field. The Bulls shot 37.2 percent through the first three quarters before heating up against the Denver reserves in the fourth.

"I don't know what it is. There is no continuity out there and we are just struggling," said Ben Gordon, who was 2-for-14 from the field for Chicago. "It's not just me; it's everyone on the team. Collectively, we have to figure it out as a group and address it."

The Nuggets feel their defense had an impact on the Bulls, who came into the game shooting 38.8 percent.

"We've got five guys on the same page on the defensive end," Anthony said. "It's pretty hard for you to score the basketball."

Scoring hasn't been a problem for the Nuggets, who are averaging 114.7 points in their last four games.

"We're playing really well, and we just want to keep it up," Anthony said. "Take what we did here at home and take it on the road."

The Nuggets (8-3), like they did in their previous three games on this homestand, put this one away early. They led by 11 after the first quarter, and after Chris Duhon's 3-pointer and Joe Smith's jumper cut the lead to 36-32 with 10:51 left in the first half, they took over.

Eduardo Najera hit two 3-pointers and J.R. Smith had a 3 and a dunk to spark a 13-0 run that increased the lead to 49-32.

The Nuggets led by 19 at halftime, but the Bulls scored the first six points of the third quarter to make it 72-59. The Nuggets responded with a 10-0 run and increased their lead to 94-69 heading into the fourth.

"We got it to a manageable number again in the third, and then we missed a couple of shots, they scored twice and, boom, that was it," Bulls coach Scott Skiles said.

The Nuggets play three games in the next four nights, but they feel good after blowing out their last four opponents.

"We're confident, but we're not cocky," Smith said. "We know we can be beat."

The Bulls are searching for answers for their slow start.

"We are contemplating a lot of things and trying to get to the bottom of why we are playing this way," Skiles said.

Notes

  • Chicago F Luol Deng missed his second straight game with a sore back. Deng, the team's second-leading scorer at 14.6 points a game, started all 82 games last year and the first eight this season.
  • The Nuggets' 72 first-half points were a season high.
  • The Bulls recovered from their bad start in 2004-05 to finish 47-35.
  • The Nuggets outscored the Bulls 27-9 from the free-throw line.
  • Kirk Hinrich and rookie Thomas Gardner had 14 points apiece for Chicago.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Marcus Camby battles Ben Wallace for a rebound as Camby pulls down 20 boards. (Getty Images)
Marcus Camby battles Ben Wallace for a rebound as Camby pulls down 20 boards. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Chicago (2-8) 2528162291
Denver (8-3) «36362218112
CHI:J. Noah 16 Pts
CHI:B. Wallace 12 Reb
CHI:C. Duhon 5 Ast
DEN:C. Anthony 26 Pts
DEN:M. Camby 20 Reb
DEN:A. Iverson 6 Ast
Players of the Game
DenverChicago

M. Camby

J. Noah
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
122051683
Chicago
B. Gordon, SG302-142-22316
B. Wallace, C263-70-012206
A. Nocioni, SF224-80-040410
K. Hinrich, PG216-132-242214
A. Griffin, SG91-20-01102
T. Gardner, SG276-160-230214
J. Noah, PF227-102-283116
T. Sefolosha, SG213-110-03437
C. Duhon, PG181-30-01543
J. Smith, PF172-52-24336
A. Gray, C163-51-45207
T. Thomas, PF110-10-10040
V. Khryapa, SFDid Not Play
L. Deng, SFDid Not Play
J. Curry, PGDid Not Play
Totals 38-959-1547252491
 40.0%60.0% 
Denver
A. Iverson, SG356-1310-1016122
C. Anthony, SF318-2010-1324326
M. Camby, C304-64-4205012
K. Martin, PF246-101-281213
Y. Diawara, SG182-30-01205
L. Kleiza, SF264-90-05348
J. Smith, SG214-81-232112
B. Jones, SF191-32-24224
E. Najera, PF183-30-01038
M. Wilks, PG140-00-00100
V. Wafer, SG61-20-10002
A. Carter, PGDid Not Play
C. Atkins, PGDid Not Play
S. Hunter, PFDid Not Play
Nene, PFDid Not Play
Totals 39-7728-34452616112
 50.6%82.4% 
Other Games
SA 95 Final
Atl 83
Mil 111 Final
Cle 107
LAL 134 Final
Ind 114
Phi 101 Final
Wash 116
GS 108 Final
NY 82
Tor 99 Final
Dal 105
Pho 100 Final
Sac 98