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News » Nuggets-Bucks Preview 2009-11-11

Nuggets-Bucks Preview 2009-11-11

Nuggets-Bucks Preview 2009-11-11Denver began its longest road trip of the season in good shape. After stumbling a bit, the Nuggets hope to end it the same way they started.

Coming off a last-second win, the Nuggets look to secure a winning six-game road swing with a victory Wednesday night against the surging Milwaukee Bucks.

Chauncey Billups hit the go-ahead free throw with six-tenths of a second left to give Denver (6-2) a 90-89 win Tuesday at Chicago. The Bulls' Brad Miller appeared to hit a jumper at the buzzer, but the basket was overturned following a replay review.

The Nuggets are 3-2 on a six-game trip, which they opened with wins over Indiana and New Jersey before falling at Miami and 125-100 to Atlanta on Saturday.

Denver managed to bounce back Tuesday despite shooting 41.7 percent and getting a season-low 20 points from Carmelo Anthony, who's still averaging 30.0 per game. The Nuggets also caught a break when after a lengthy review, the officials ruled Miller's shot with three-tenths of a second left did not count.

"Fortunately I just read the rule a couple of days ago that with three-tenths of a second you can't pivot or turn," said Nuggets coach George Karl, who got his 939th win to move past Red Auerbach into eighth place on the NBA's all-time list. "It doesn't count. The longer it took, I thought the more it was in our favor."

Anthony is averaging 24.9 points in 11 career games against Milwaukee. He had 33 in a 120-117 road loss to the Bucks on Feb. 22.

Suspended for the season's first seven games after being arrested for reckless driving, Denver's J.R. Smith returned Tuesday with a new name. The veteran guard, who had five points and five assists in 29 minutes, wants to go by his given name, Earl Smith III.

The Nuggets will need to hope the momentum from Tuesday's victory helps them avoid a third straight loss at Milwaukee (3-2). Denver is averaging 106.9 points, but faces a Bucks club that's trying for a third consecutive victory overall and hasn't allowed an opponent to score 100 points this season.

Andrew Bogut continued his solid play with a season-high 22 points and eight rebounds in the Bucks' 102-87 win over New York on Saturday.

Rookie guards Jodie Meeks (19 points) and Brandon Jennings (17) helped Milwaukee set season bests for points and shooting (46.6 percent).

Bogut has picked up the slack while star Michael Redd is sidelined with a strained tendon in his left knee. The No.1 overall pick from the 2005 draft, Bogut is averaging 18.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in his last three contests.

"He's been playing real well. We need that every night from him," said this year's Bucks first-round pick Jennings, averaging a team-leading 18.4 points. "Now that Michael Redd is down, he's picking up the scoring a little for us, and that's helping us out a lot."

Bogut's improved health is a key factor in his progression. The 7-footer was limited to 36 games last season because of a back injury.

"Physically I'm 100 percent," Bogut said. "It's more of getting that mental rhythm back of the NBA game, the travel, the back-to-backs, get used to that again. Otherwise, I feel fine."

Bogut is averaging 9.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in seven career games against Denver.

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Added: November 11, 2009


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