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Denver at Minnesota

Nuggets 106, Timberwolves 97

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With the game still close early in the second half, Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups made sure Denver didn't need another late comeback.

Billups scored a season-high 27 points in three quarters, Carmelo Anthony added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Nuggets beat Minnesota 106-97 on Saturday night.

Denver closed with a 21-6 run in the fourth quarter to beat Minnesota 90-84 in Denver on Nov. 16. Anthony had the go-ahead dunk in that game. This time he and Billups keyed a 14-0 run midway through the third quarter to help Denver open a 80-63 lead. Billups said it was the team's best quarter since he arrived in a Nov. 3 trade.

"That was just awesome, and we never looked back," he said.

Coach George Karl agreed.

"We got a lot of steals. The ball just flowed," Karl said. "We got layups. We got open shots. Everybody seemed to be part of the offense and there seemed to be a continuity to it."

Thirteen games into his Denver career, Billups acknowledges he's still learning to adjust to his new teammates and vice versa, but it's obviously working well so far. Denver is 10-3 since he joined the team.

Anthony had a fast-break layup and jumper, Billups had a jumper in the paint, a 3-pointer and set up Kenyon Martin and Dahntay Jones for dunks. Denver finished with a 21-5 edge in fast-break points.

Anthony has 20-plus points in four of his past five, after not doing so for four straight.

"Carmelo is one of the best players in the league. I'm just here trying to help him get better and walk him through the gates. He's our star player," Billups said.

Outscored 27-16 in the third quarter, Minnesota went 6:29 without point before Ryan Gomes hit a jumper with 2:51 to play.

"We took out the easy baskets and weren't giving them as many layups," said Denver's Kenyon Martin. "We got a lot of easy looks off our defense and we was just aggressive all over the place."

It was the second time in eight days that a disastrous third quarter put a game out of reach for Minnesota. The Timberwolves were outscored 35-10 in the third against Boston eight days ago en route to a 95-78 loss.

"We have to put the ball on the floor in those situations," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "They've got Nene and Martin, their bigs running out on our perimeter guys. You don't want to settle and bail them out with jump shots and I thought we did that tonight."

Linas Kleiza added 15 points, and Anthony Carter had 12 for Denver. The Nuggets have beaten Minnesota seven straight times and 12 of 15.

Randy Foye scored a season-high 25 points to lead Minnesota. Al Jefferson had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Kevin Love had his first career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Love averaged 5.8 points in his previous nine games.

After beating Oklahoma City on the road Friday night, the Timberwolves missed a chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

"There was a lot of frustration between us on the court," Foye said. "You just can't let that happen. You've gotta go out there and try to get stops on defense and play together."

Billups was 12-for-12 from the free-throw line, including three in the final minute of the third quarter to give the Nuggets an 85-67 lead.

"Whenever you go to the free throw line and get easy points with no defense, it's in your benefit," Gomes said. "That's what he did tonight and he made plays when they needed him, especially in that third quarter."

Denver, the NBA leader in free-throw attempts per game (32.67), was 26-for-33 from the line, including 18-for-22 in the first half. Minnesota was 9-for-10.

Notes

Denver's last loss in Minnesota was Feb. 14, 2007. ... Denver is 7-1 when scoring at least 100 points. ... Billups entered the game averaging 17.3 points per game against Minnesota, for whom he played from 2000-02. It's his second-highest scoring average against an opponent, behind Boston (18.2). ... Minnesota's Mike Miller was 2-for-10 from the field, including 0-for-6 on 3-pointers. ... Wolves G Kevin Ollie missed his sixth straight game because of a strained calf.
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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Scoreboard
Denver (11-6) «25352719106
Minnesota (4-11) 3123162797
DEN:C. Billups 27 Pts
DEN:C. Anthony 10 Reb
DEN:C. Atkins 5 Ast
MIN:R. Foye 25 Pts
MIN:A. Jefferson 13 Reb
MIN:R. Foye 6 Ast
Players of the Game
MinnesotaDenver

A. Jefferson

C. Anthony
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
2013125100

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Denver
C. Anthony, SF379-237-9100125
Nene, PF344-73-473111
K. Martin, PF272-50-26414
C. Billups, PG256-912-1214227
D. Jones, SG223-52-41118
A. Carter, PG286-90-094012
L. Kleiza, SF255-112-221015
C. Atkins, PG170-20-00510
C. Andersen, PF162-60-05124
J. Smith, SG70-10-00020
R. Balkman, PF30-20-01000
S. Hunter, PFDid Not Play
C. Samb, CDid Not Play
S. Weems, SGDid Not Play
Totals 37-8026-33422311106
 46.2%78.8% 
Minnesota
A. Jefferson, PF369-162-3131320
R. Foye, PG3411-201-156325
R. Gomes, PF324-60-022211
M. Miller, SF302-100-00314
J. Collins, C181-30-00212
K. Love, PF297-94-4122318
S. Telfair, PG251-80-04322
C. Brewer, SF152-62-21116
C. Smith, PF112-70-04054
R. McCants, SG62-50-00025
B. Cardinal, PF30-00-00000
R. Carney, SF30-00-00000
K. Ollie, PGDid Not Play
C. Booth, CDid Not Play
M. Madsen, PFDid Not Play
Totals 41-909-1041202397
 45.6%90.0% 
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Ind 96 Final
Orl 110
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Wash 98
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Char 84
GS 125 Final
NY 138
OKC 111 Final
Mem 103
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Hou 103
Cle 97 Final
Mil 85
NJ 105 Final
Utah 88
Dal 101 Final
Sac 78
Mia 96 Final
LAC 97