DENVER (AP) -- Marcus Camby was more impressed with his 21
rebounds than his 21 points.
His eighth double-double of the season and fourth 20-20 game of
his career helped the Denver Nuggets rout the Memphis Grizzlies
99-83 on Sunday night to move above .500 for the first time this
Camby has topped 20 points five times this month after doing it
just four times last season.
"I just am going out there playing, not thinking about it,"
said Camby, who did his damage in just 34 minutes. "Like I say all
the time, I just try to focus on the defensive end, rebounding and
blocking shots, and my teammates are finding me."
That's the kind of attitude and approach that coach George Karl
trusts will lead the Nuggets out of their doldrums in offense. Once
again, they missed several easy baskets, leading Karl to suggest
that Carmelo Anthony's 21-point effort could easily have been 35.
"Offensively, we're good and bad," Karl said. "But I think in
general we had another really good defensive game. Offensively, I
see some hope that we're going to turn the corner with the pace and
the passing. We have a lot of easy shots that we're not making. I'm
just hoping that we bust out here."
Anthony added 10 rebounds for his own double-double and reserve
Earl Boykins had 18 points for the Nuggets, who beat Memphis at
home for the 16th straight time.
Camby also had four blocks and 14 of his rebounds came off the
"You don't see that too often," Anthony said of Camby's 21-21
night. "That was an All-star performance from Camby."
"The man's on a mission," Karl said. "He's playing with such
a toughness and honesty at the defensive end of the court. It would
take me a month to get 21-21."
Memphis, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped, got 24
points and 12 rebounds from Pau Gasol and 20 points from Shane
Battier, most in the first half before the Grizzlies tired and saw
the Nuggets pull away with 15 more fast-break points than they
"We played for 18 or 20 minutes. From that point on it steadily
went down hill," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "Our defense
broke down, we weren't selective with our shots and we stopped
being aggressive attacking the basket."
Battier, who scored just four points after halftime, said he was
bothered by the altitude. And apparently, he wasn't alone.
"There was spurt in the third quarter when they got a lot of
easy baskets. The key to beating this team is limiting their easy
baskets. They do so well in transition and in the half court,"
Battier said. "We played for about 20 minutes tonight. That's not
indicative of the way we played over the last two weeks. We had
some pretty good wins."
The Grizzlies, whose seven wins are tied for the most in
November in franchise history, never have done well in Denver,
where they are 2-19 and haven't won since Nov. 18, 1997.
With the Nuggets consistently unable to finish off around the
basket, the Grizzles jumped ahead by as many as nine points in the
second quarter behind Battier's 16 first-half points. Denver,
however, closed the first half with a 16-4 run to take a 51-49
The Nuggets turned to their defense and transition game to build
an 79-66 lead after three quarters, and Boykins helped put the game
away with 13 second-half points.
"Right now we need him to play off the bench," Karl said.
"Without Nene and without Kenyon (Martin), you have a very
difficult time putting a strong bench unit on the court unless you
bring your starters back probably a little too early."
Karl said he couldn't recall a second-half possession that
didn't have a good pace to it.
"We are looking good," Anthony concurred. "We aren't 100
percent yet. We are still trying to find ourselves, and I think
when we get there we are going to be really good."
Martin, who has missed four of the last five games with
left knee tendinitis, expects to play Tuesday at Washington. ...
Nene will have an operation Monday to repair a torn ACL in his