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News » Chauncey Billups leads Denver Nuggets past Timberwolves

Chauncey Billups leads Denver Nuggets past Timberwolves

Chauncey Billups leads Denver Nuggets past Timberwolves
Trading for Chauncey Billups, Denver Nuggets coach George Karl said, "has made us feel like we can be a really good team."

They're not the only ones convinced of that.

Billups engineered a 14-0 third-quarter run, capping it with a spinning assist in the lane for one of Denver's numerous layups, and the Nuggets snapped Minnesota's season-longest winning streak at, ahem, one game with a 106-97 blowout in Target Center.

The Nuggets' mastery of the Timberwolves goes back awhile - Saturday's victory was Denver's seventh straight against Minnesota - but Billups, acquired from Detroit for Allen Iverson just four days into the season, has been around for only two of them. The gormer Timberwolf got the hang of it pretty quickly, though, scoring 27 points, getting to the free-throw line 12 times - more than the entire Wolves squad - and thoroughly frustrating a Minnesota offense that had reached 100 points in four of its last five games.

Randy Foye led the Timberwolves with 25 points, and Al Jefferson added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Minnesota's brightest star during an otherwise dreary second half was rookie Kevin Love, who collected the first double-double of his career.

Love made seven of nine shots, collected 12 rebounds and racked up 18 points.

"He's making progress," coach Randy Wittman said. "He's had a tough streak of (not) getting easy baskets to go in, which is sometimes hard to handle, but I think he's fighting through that. He's doing the other things, he's rebounding the ball."

But it wasn't enough to overcome a Denver offensive show, sparked by the Nuggets' new all-star point guard. The Timberwolves, despite Denver's 22-5 free-throw advantage in the first half, were within two points, 62-60, early in the third quarter.

Billups changed all that. He posted up Foye inside for a basket. He found Kenyon Martin streaking to the basket for a dunk. He nailed a three-pointer and, with the Wolves reeling through 11 straight scoreless possessions, finished the run with the stylish spinning pass to Dahntay Jones for a layup. That built the Nuggets' lead to 17 points, and Billups didn't even make an encore appearance in the fourth quarter.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2008


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