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Denver at Golden State

Billups lights up Warriors with career night, Nuggets win in OT

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Denver Nuggets are back to playing like one of the NBA's best teams now that Chauncey Billups is healthy and in the lineup.

The groin injury that cost him eight games earlier this season? Gone. Denver's struggles on the road? Still there, but not looking as imposing a hurdle anymore.

Billups matched his career high with 37 points, including 10 in overtime, and Denver beat the Golden State Warriors 123-118 on Wednesday night for its fourth consecutive victory.

"I said I didn't want to come back until I was able to do what I do," Billups said after leading the Nuggets to their third consecutive victory against the Warriors this season. "I'm feeling good. Ever since I came back, I haven't felt [the injury] one day."

Billups scored the Nuggets' first eight points of the extra period, then went scoreless for nearly two minutes before he and Carmelo Anthony each made two free throws in the final 25 seconds to seal the victory for Denver.

In the six games since returning from the groin injury, Billups is averaging 26.3 points and Denver is 5-1.

The Nuggets needed every bit because Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer, struggled with his shot all night. Anthony went only 7 for 22 from the floor and only had three points in overtime.

"He's been big for us," Anthony said. "The last couple of weeks we've had some injury problems that threw us out of sync. Having everyone back, we're starting to get going."

Anthony scored 23 points, including two clinching free throws with 12.5 seconds left to help the Nuggets (27-14) win for only the second time in nine road games.

Monta Ellis had 39 points and 10 assists, while Corey Maggette added 33 points and nine rebounds for Golden State (12-28), which lost for the fourth time in five games.

"They're full strength, we were not and we're still in these kind of games," Golden State's Stephen Curry said. "It's tough, you give all that effort ... and you have it in your hands."

The Nuggets have been struggling away from the Pepsi Center and have had even more trouble with some of the NBA's weaker teams. Denver went into the game only 11-8 against teams with a .500 record or lower, a stat that was on the verge of getting worse before Billups took control in overtime.

Denver, which is only 9-11 on the road this season, maintained its two-game lead over Portland in the Northwest Division.

"We've been losing these games," Denver coach George Karl said. "The truth of the matter is we still find mistakes and ways that hurt ourselves, but tonight we figured out enough to win it."

Both teams had a chance to win in regulation but came up short. Anthony's driving layup attempt was blocked with 3.9 seconds left before Anthony Tolliver, one of three NBA Development League call-ups on Golden State's roster, missed a long jumper at the buzzer. Tolliver also missed a 3-pointer late in the final seconds of overtime.

That Golden State made it close had to surprise coach Don Nelson, whose patchwork lineup nearly needed revamping yet again after Ellis pulled out of the afternoon shootaround complaining of soreness in his left ankle.

Ellis, who injured the same ankle in an offseason mo-ped accident in 2008 one month after signing a $66 million six-year contract, then didn't come out for pregame warmups until seven minutes before the game and took only a handful of shots before lying on the floor and stretching.

Ellis leads the NBA in complete games (nine) and was averaging a league-high 42.2 minutes before playing all 53 against Denver, but denied the heavy workload affected his ankle.

"It's just that I have a plate in my ankle, and when it rains my ankle throbs," Ellis said. "So it wasn't nothing like I've been playing on it too much and it was hurting. It was just because of the weather."

Notes

  • Ellis had eight or more assists for the third consecutive game, the first time he has done that in his four-year NBA career.
  • Maggette has scored at least 32 points in each of his past three games.
  • The Warriors signed Cartier Martin to a second 10-day contract earlier in the day.
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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Chauncey Billups lives up to the name 'Mr. Big Shot' by scoring 10 of his career-high 37 in OT.  (Getty Images)
Chauncey Billups lives up to the name 'Mr. Big Shot' by scoring 10 of his career-high 37 in OT. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Denver (27-14) «3023282418123
Golden State (12-28) 2528292313118
DEN:C. Billups 37 Pts
DEN:K. Martin 14 Reb
DEN:C. Billups 8 Ast
GS:M. Ellis 39 Pts
GS:A. Biedrins 13 Reb
GS:M. Ellis 10 Ast
Players of the Game
Golden StateDenver

M. Ellis

C. Billups
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
396103788
Denver
C. Anthony, SF467-229-1144323
K. Martin, PF415-101-4143311
Nene, C406-87-12120519
C. Billups, PG3811-199-1188537
A. Afflalo, SG245-71-241412
J. Smith, SG346-150-062414
C. Andersen, PF201-20-03022
T. Lawson, PG171-53-32025
M. Allen, PF50-00-02000
J. Graham, SFDid Not Play
J. Petro, CDid Not Play
R. Balkman, SFDid Not Play
A. Carter, PGDid Not Play
Totals 42-8830-43551828123
 47.7%69.8% 
Golden State
M. Ellis, PG5312-2812-16610539
S. Curry, PG496-170-036215
D. George, SG404-100-02059
C. Maggette, SF4010-1812-1296433
A. Biedrins, C312-40-013464
C. Hunter, PF224-71-26019
A. Tolliver, PF161-62-23004
C. Martin, PF152-50-02145
S. Claxton, PGDid Not Play
R. Turiaf, CDid Not Play
A. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
V. Radmanovic, SFDid Not Play
R. Bell, SGDid Not Play
K. Azubuike, SFDid Not Play
A. Morrow, SGDid Not Play
B. Wright, PFDid Not Play
C. Watson, PGDid Not Play
Totals 41-9527-32442727118
 43.2%84.4% 
Other Games
Sac 97 Final
Atl 108
Ind 98 Final
Orl 109
Port 98 Final
Phi 90
Dal 94 Final
Wash 93
Mia 65 Final
Char 104
Bos 86 Final
Det 92
Mem 111 Final
NO 113
Tor 107 Final
Mil 113
OKC 94 Final
Min 92
NJ 94 Final
Pho 118
Utah 105 Final
SA 98
Chi 97 Final
LAC 104