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News » Nuggets-Pacers Preview 2009-11-02

Nuggets-Pacers Preview 2009-11-02

Nuggets-Pacers Preview 2009-11-02Thanks to Carmelo Anthony's red-hot play, the Denver Nuggets are off to their best start in 24 years.

Anthony and the Nuggets look to continue their run by keeping the host Indiana Pacers winless on Tuesday night.

With Anthony averaging 37.7 points on 53.6 percent shooting, Denver is 3-0 for the first time since 1985-86, when it opened with six straight wins. The Nuggets forward had his best performance in the team's latest victory - a 133-123 win over Memphis on Sunday night.

Anthony scored a season-high 42 points on 15-of-26 shooting to record consecutive 40-point games for the first time in his six seasons in the league.

"I told you all before training camp started I felt better than I ever felt coming into a season," said Anthony, who scored 41 in Denver's 97-94 win at Portland on Thursday. "My stamina feels great. And I just feel good all around, my confidence is up. You know, I've got one thing ahead of me, which is that gold ball."

With Anthony's help, the Nuggets are among the league leaders in scoring (114.7 points per game) and shooting (50.2 percent). Chauncey Billups - starting his first full season in Denver - has also averaged 23.0 points, but he knows the team's success rides on his All-Star teammate.

"(Anthony's) riding a high wave right now and we're kind of getting on his back," Billups said. "He's playing great basketball. He's scoring a lot of points, but he's playing great basketball. He's making the right decisions when they double or they come across the lane. His energy level's up, he's vocal out there, he's just focused."

The Pacers (0-2), meanwhile, are off to their worst start in 10 seasons and trying to avoid opening with three straight losses for the first time since 1996-97.

Indiana's Danny Granger is again off to a strong start with a team-best 26.5 points per game, but the Pacers are among the league's worst defensive teams in allowing an average of 108.0 points.

After opening the season with 31 points Wednesday night in Atlanta, Granger finished with 22 in Friday night's 96-83 home loss to Miami and endured a 6-of-20 shooting performance - 3 of 12 from 3-point range.

Indiana shot 37 percent and was 4 of 23 from beyond the arc overall.

"That's a rough shooting night," said Granger, the only Pacer averaging more than 13.0 points. "You have some of those nights, and usually you have to rely on your defense, but we just couldn't put the game together."

Anthony was held to 20 points and shot 8 for 24 in a 100-94 loss at Indiana on March 1 after averaging 32.3 points in three consecutive Denver victories at Indiana. He's averaged 24.8 points in 12 lifetime games versus the Pacers.

Denver has won eight of 10 meetings dating back to Jan. 29, 2005, including four of five at Conseco Fieldhouse.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 2, 2009


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