Anthony scores 24 to lead Nuggets

Chauncey Billups is learning on the job. Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets keep winning.

Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) scored 24 points, Billups had 16 points and 10 assists, and host Nuggets beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 100-90, last 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-for-13 from the field.

"This is like night and day from what I'm used to, and that's not a bad thing," Billups said. "With the way our schedule is stacked, we don't have a lot of practice time. Our practice is in the game. That can be difficult sometimes and can lead to some bad turnovers."


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.

Nene had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Nuggets, who had six players score in double figures.

"When you've got that many weapons I think it's tough to load up on everybody," Billups said. "In the past, you could just load up on Melo and hope that he doesn't get more than 30. If you've got a lot of guys rolling, it makes you better."

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.

Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding) finished with 16 points for Memphis.

Celtics 88, Pistons 76: : Tony Allen scored most of his 23 points in the second quarter, foiling Allen Iverson's home debut with Detroit. Iverson finished with 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting, with four assists and four turnovers.

Kings 115, Warriors 98: : Kevin Martin scored 27 points and host Sacramento pulled away for its third straight game. John Salmons added 16 points and Spencer Hawes had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Lakers 111, Rockets 82: : Kobe Bryant scored 23 points and Pau Gasol added 20 points and 15 rebounds. Aaron Brooks, a reserve, paced Houston with 20 points and four assists. Yao Ming had 12 points.


Knicks 107, Jazz 99: : Jamal Crawford scored 32 points and host New York moved two games over .500 for the first time since it was 16-14 on Jan. 1, 2005. New York (4-2) also ended Utah's undefeated start.

Raptors 89, Bobcats 79: : Chris Bosh scored 30 points with a season-high 15 rebounds for visiting Toronto. Rookie D.J. Augustin scored 11 of his 14 points in the second quarter for Charlotte.

Clippers 103, Mavericks 92: : Baron Davis had 22 points and 10 assists, and Al Thornton got eight of his 17 points in the final six minutes for host Los Angeles. Dirk Nowitzki, who missed the final two meetings with the Clippers last season because of ankle and knee injuries, led Dallas with 33 points and seven rebounds; Jason Kidd added nine assists and seven points.

Hawks 89, Thunder 85: : Joe Johnson scored 25 points for Atlanta. Johnson hit a right-handed runner for an 82-80 lead with 2:19 to play. Kevin Durant led host Oklahoma City with 20 points, and rookie Russell Westbrook scored 15.

Off the court

Spurs: : Tony Parker will be out about four weeks with a sprained left ankle, a critical blow to San Antonio (1-4), which is off to its worst start in 12 years. Magnetic resonance imaging taken Saturday confirmed the injury to the Spurs' star guard, who was hurt during a 99-83 loss to the Heat on Friday - two nights after scoring a career-high 55 points against the Timberwolves. Parker, 26, was second in the league in scoring behind LeBron James at 27.4 points per game. Parker will be replaced by rookie George Hill or 12th-year veteran Jacque Vaughn.