Chauncey Billups made six 3-pointers and scored 26 points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in 18 as the visiting Denver Nuggets held off the Detroit Pistons, 109-100, on Wednesday.
Billups, who won NBA Finals MVP in leading Detroit to a championship in 2004, made 9-of-16 shots, including 6-of-9 from the arc. In the final 4:33, he made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points.
Aaron Afflalo chipped in 17 points for the Nuggets, who were playing without starting center Nene due to a right calf strain but won their third straight game.
Detroit leading scorer Rodney Stuckey left the game in the first quarter with a shoulder injury.
The Pistons scored the game's first nine points but still trailed, 29-24, at the end of the first quarter. Denver pushed it to 42-29 early in the second period and never trailed again, taking a 56-50 edge into the break.
Detroit pulled within a basket in the third quarter and came as close as 92-91 with 3:15 left on a drive by Will Bynum, who scored 17 of his 19 points in the final period. But Billups knocked down three 3-pointers over the final 75 seconds to keep the Nuggets clear.
Tracy McGrady collected 14 points and eight assists for the Pistons.