Nuggets Outlast Grizzlies

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DENVER - Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points, Chauncey Billups had 16 points and 10 assists and the Nuggets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 100-90 on Sunday night.

Billups, who came to Denver last week in a deal that sent Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons, said he's still getting used to his new teammates. That didn't stop him from playing a key role despite shooting 2-of-13 from the field.

The Nuggets had 22 turnovers, but they played tough defense in the second half, holding Memphis to 36 points and 28 percent shooting. They shut down rookie guard O.J. Mayo, who scored a season-high 31 but managed only five after halftime.

In the first quarter, Mayo was nearly unstoppable. He was 8-of-9 from the field and hit all three of his 3-pointers in the first period. But after scoring 20 points in the opening quarter, he ran into foul trouble and picked up his third with 3:03 left in the first half.

Leading 80-76 early in the fourth quarter, Anthony hit a technical free throw and then slammed home a rebound to push the lead to seven.

Billups hit four free throws and Renaldo Balkman, who had 12 points, had three more and a dunk to push the lead to 92-80 with 4:59 left. Memphis got no closer than 10 after that.

Game notes
Nuggets F Kenyon Martin was scratched from the lineup with a sprained left wrist suffered Friday against Dallas. Karl said Martin is day-to-day. ... Nuggets C Steven Hunter is scheduled to have surgery on his right knee this week and could miss at least two months. ... Denver is expected to complete a buyout of F Antonio McDyess' contract Monday. McDyess was acquired, along with Billups and Cheikh Samb, from Detroit for Allen Iverson last week. ... Nuggets F Chris Andersen suffered a fractured rib trying to draw a charge in the third quarter.

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