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Nuggets Roll Over Grizzlies


After the Vancouver Grizzlies lost their 12th in a row Monday night, the question was: Will Brian Hill be the next NBA coach to be fired?

"I'm not worried about my job, I'm worrying about getting this team ready to play," Hill said after the Grizzlies lost 110-84 to the Denver Nuggets.

Antonio McDyess scored 21 points and reserves Cory Alexander and Johnny Taylor had 14 points apiece as the Nuggets came back from their worst offensive performance of the season and ended a seven-game losing streak.

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  • "This was embarrassing coming off an embarrassing loss to Dallas," Vancouver guard Lee Mayberry said. "We have to play with more pride than we have, and right now I think we could go out with 12 players without the coaches and do a better job without them."

    Shareef Abdul-Rahim had 15 points for Vancouver, whose last win came Feb. 23 against the Lakers.

    "It's easy to blame the coaches and I don't think it is the coaching," Abdur-Rahim said, "We aren't playing together and it showed in this game, one we felt like we should have been able to get back on track."

    Denver blocked a season-high 18 shots, including six by Keon Clark, to finish one short of the franchise record of 19.

    "This was must win, one we had to have," Denver coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We have to take advantage of other people's misfortunes and I think that is what we did."

    Two days after reaching season-lows in field goal percentage (29 percent) and field goals (21) and setting a franchise record-low with 61 points at San Antonio, the Nuggets shot 57 percent from the field and reached 100 points for the first time in eight games.

    "Any time you get embarrassed like we did in San Antonio, you want to come out and give the effort like we did tonight," Denver guard Bryant Stith said.

    "After th way we felt at San Antonio, we needed to make somebody feel like that," said Chauncey Billups, who had 12 points.

    The Nuggets hit 12 of 22 shots in the first quarter, including a 19-foot jump shot and a dunk by McDyess to start a game in which they never trailed.

    Matters got only slightly better in the second quarter for the Grizzlies as Alexander came off the bench to score seven points, two on 3-pointers, to give Denver a 56-39 at halftime.

    Billups had 10 points in the third quarter as Denver maintained a 20-point lead throughout most the period. The Nuggets took an 82-59 lead into the fourth quarter and went to its 11th and 12 players in the final 5:50 after the lead reached 98-72.

    "To me, it was an absolute embarrassment not to compete at the beginning of the game," Hill said. "It is frustrating when it happens back-to-back."

    Notes: Vancouver played its 11th game in 16 days. ... Doug West missed his fifth game with a sprained foot. ... Denver didn't win its sixth game last year, when the Nuggets had an NBA-worst 11-71 record, until the 64th game.

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