MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - 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 over the Memphis
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 represents its second-best 45-game start in the franchise's
The Grizzlies lost their 10th in a row, and first under Lionel Hollins as coach after Marc Iavaroni was fired Thursday.
In addition to Billups, 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.
The Grizzlies committed a season-high 26 turnovers and shot 37.5
percent to lose for the 18th time in 20 games.
Rookie guard O.J. Mayo led the Grizzlies with 19 points. Rudy
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.
The Grizzlies get right back into it on the Road at Oklahoma City Wednesday Night.