The Denver Nuggets welcomed back Chauncey Billups with a hard-fought victory over the Dallas Mavericks, 108-105.
Carmelo Anthony had 28 points, eight rebounds, and six assists and Billups had 15 points and four rebounds to lead the Nuggets.
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points, Jason Kidd has 22 points and nine assists, and Jason Terry added 20 for the Mavs.
On the game's opening possession, Billups came up with a steal, advanced the ball up the floor and launched a three pointer that rimmed out, his first shot in a decade since playing for the Nuggets.
His second shot on the Nuggs' next possession however, did go in. Billups criss-crossed behind a Nene screen before stepping back and burying a three pointer.
Dirk Nowitzki lead the Mavs first quarter charge, producing nine points and three rebounds to keep the Mavs' close.
However, both Erick Dampier and Desagna Diop obtained two fouls and the Nuggets capitalized by attacking the paint, translating into 12 free throw attempts by Denver in the opening period.
Kleiza led the-new-look Nuggets with eight points in the first, including five points in which he scored in :42 to give Denver the slim lead heading into the second, 26-25
The Nuggs' engineered an 8-0 run early in the second quarter, thanks to contributions by Anthony Carter and Nene. The spurt pushed the Nuggs' lead to six, 36-30, as superstars Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony absorbed rest.
Dallas however would counter Denver's run by going on a 10-0 spree, to grasp control of the lead 42-38, spearheaded by Jason Terry's five-point contribution.
Denver and Dallas battled and the Mavs took a one-point lead going into halftime, 59-58.
Nene led Denver with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Chauncey Billups had five points on 1-of-7 shooting at the half for the home team.
Jason Terry scored 12 points and snatched two steals for the Mavs' and Dirk Nowitzki added 11 points and five rebounds for the visitors, after the first 24 minutes.
Billups scored seven points and doled out an assist in the third to repair his tarnished performance.
Midway through the third, Dirk Nowitzki knocked knees with Nene, sending the Brazilian into an instant fit of anguish. Two seasons ago, Nene missed 81 games because of a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The Nuggets went on a 11-2 run sparked by Melo's six points and four assists in the quarter helped Denver reach the biggest lead of the game, 77-67.
The third quarter ended with the Nuggets' holding on to a marginal lead 79-72.
The fourth was filled with excitement and antics. Both the Mavs and Nuggets fought for the lead and it came down to the closing moments. After a Denver field goal made it 99-98, Jason Kidd advanced the ball down the court and drove in for a layup while getting fouled by Carmelo Anthony.
The basket made it 103-102 DEN, but Jason Kidd's free throw clanked off the front of the rim and Carmelo Anthony grabbed the rebound.
Chauncey Billups was then fouled and made 1-of-2 to make it 104-102 DEN.
On the ensuing Dallas possession, Nene slapped the ball away from Brandon Bass and Carmelo alertly found the ball, got fouled, and nailed a pair of free throws to secure the win for newcomer Chauncey Billups, 108-105.