For all the good Chauncey Billups has done since being traded back to the Nuggets, the one team he couldn’t beat was his former team the Detroit Pistons.
However, that all changed Friday as Billups and another former Piston Arron Afflalo made sure of that. Billups scored a game-high 25 points, while Afflalo connected on four treys to help the Nuggets end their struggles against Detroit wtih a 107-102 victory.
With his family sitting courtside, Billups was nearly unstoppable driving to the basket and either drawing a foul or nailing a shot over the Pistons defense.
Early on Rip Hamilton was a pain in Denver’s side, doing what he does best by running off of screens and drawing fouls. But Joey Graham, who saw some time with injured Kenyon Martin missing the contest, gave the Nuggets a spark in the first half. He scored 11 quick points and helped Denver hold a four-point advantage at halftime.
JR Smith and Billups than provided Denver with the spark in the second half. With Carmelo Anthony struggling against Tayshaun Prince’s length and Nene being shut down by Ben Wallace, Smith came in and scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half. While Billups scored 10 points in the closing quarter.
- Hamilton and Ben Wallace acknowledged Billups wife, Piper, before the game.
- The Nuggets should send Joe Dumars a sincere thank you card for all the help he has done for this franchise.
- He passed on Anthony in the 2003 Draft for draft bust Darko Milicic
- He traded Billups (and Antonio McDyess) to the Nuggets last October for Allen Iverson
- He traded Afflalo (and Walter Sharpe) to the Nuggets for a future second round draft pick
- Smith had five steals in the game and nine in the last two games.
- He has also scored 59 points in the last three games.
- Billups has hit 35 straight free throws.
- Former Nuggets’ point guard Chucky Atkins is currently a backup point guard for the Pistons.
- John Kuester and George Karl are both alumni of North Carolina.
- Afflalo has hit a three in each of the last five games.
- Anthony has been struggling from the line the last few games, hitting only 10 of his previous 21 free throws. However, he did hit four of his final five to finish the game.
The Nuggets will have a big game on Sunday when they face the defending champion Lakers in Los Angeles. If Denver wins they win the season series with the Lakers.