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 Billups scores 29 to lead Nuggets over Grizzlies

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PostSubject: Billups scores 29 to lead Nuggets over Grizzlies   Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:27 pm

MEMPHIS, Tenn.(AP) New Memphis coach Lionel Hollins can see he has his work cut out.Chauncey
Billups scored 14 consecutive points in the third quarter and finished
with 29 to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 100-85 victory Tuesday night,
sending the Grizzlies to their 10th straight loss Hollins' debut as
coach."I can't speak for anything before I got here,'' Hollins
said. "But what it looks like to me is the guys aren't in good shape
and, as soon as there is a little bit of adversity, we tend to start
going our own way and doing our own thing. We have to develop some
discipline to stay with what we are doing and play together.''Billups'
14-point run allowed the Nuggets to build a 15-point lead en route to
their 30th victory of the season. Denver's 30-15 record is its
second-best 45-game start in the franchise's history.The Nuggets
got 20 points from J.R. Smith and 16 points from Linas Kleiza. Chris
Anderson had five of Denver's 15 blocked shots, a season high."Chauncey
came out and played,'' Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay said. "And they gave
it to us in the third quarter. They took our mistakes and made buckets
off them.''The Grizzlies committed a season-high 26 turnovers and shot 37.5 percent to lose for the 18th time in 20 games.Memphis' losing streak is its longest since dropping 13 straight to open the 2002-03 season."I
kind of figured under some new leadership with Coach Hollins that they
were going to play extremely tough and compete,'' Billups said. "Once
we figured that out and said 'OK, we've got to tighten up,' we were
able to make the proper adjustments and get the game under control.''Rookie guard O.J. Mayo led the Grizzlies with 19 points. Gay, Kyle Lowry and Darius Miles scored 13 apiece.After
Billups led the Nuggets to its 15-point lead early in the third
quarter, Memphis gradually chipped away and trimmed the margin to four
with 7:45 left on a jumper by Lowry. But Denver scored the next 16
points.Notes: The Grizzlies announced Tuesday they reached a
buyout for guard Steve Francis, acquired by the franchise Dec. 24.
Originally drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999, Francis played
for Houston, Orlando, New York and Houston a second time before Memphis
acquired him. ... The Grizzlies also announced the hiring of Barry
Hecker as an assistant, and the move of Kevin O'Neill, an assistant
under former coach Marc Iavaroni, to special assistant to general
manager Chris Wallace. Iavaroni assistants Andy Greer and Ron DuBois
were let go. ... During its 10-game losing streak the Grizzlies have
only scored more than 90 points once.

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