Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and Chauncey Billups added a key three-point play late to give the Denver Nuggets an 88-80 win Tuesday night over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Billups finished with 16 points and five assists as Denver moved to 3-0 since he replaced Allen Iverson at point guard. He was part of last week's trade between Denver and Detroit.
After an 11-point fourth-quarter lead was sliced to 75-73, the undermanned Nuggets turned to Billups and their defense. Charlotte went six straight possessions without a point, while Billups found Nene for a thunderous dunk. Billups' driving layup and free throw on the next possession made it 80-73 with 2:56 left.
The Bobcats couldn't recover, sending coach Larry Brown to his fifth loss in seven games with his newest team.