NBA Game Summary - Denver at New Orleans
(Friday, March 12th)
Final Score: Denver 102, New Orleans 95
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony put up 32 points to go with 12 rebounds, and Denver pulled away late for a 102-95 win over New Orleans.
Chauncey Billups recorded 21 points and seven assists for the Northwest Division-leading Nuggets, winners of five straight.
Nene had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Johan Petro chipped in 10 and 10 to help the visitors win a game that featured 19 lead changes and 21 ties.
"We did come through in the second half, did what we had to do," said Nuggets interim head coach Adrian Dantley, who again stepped in for George Karl as Karl continues his treatment for neck and throat cancer. "But we can play better basketball, we have to play better basketball."
David West and Marcus Thornton led New Orleans with 30 and 23 points, respectively. Darren Collison accounted for 17 points and 10 assists in the loss, the sixth in the last seven games for the playoff-chasing Hornets.
Collison's reverse layup had the Hornets within 90-88 with 4 1/2 minutes to play in the fourth, but Emeka Okafor turned the ball over after consecutive buckets by Anthony.
The veteran Billups came up with the steal in the backcourt and sank two free throws with 3:29 left for a 96-88 Nuggets lead.
Nene threw down a dunk the next time down to cap the game-altering 8-0 run.
Down 100-93 with under two minutes to go, Collison and Thornton each missed three-pointers. Julian Wright's alley-oop slam made it a five-point game, 100-95, with 26.9 seconds left, but the Nuggets made enough free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.
"They made plays and we didn't," Thornton said. "They're an elite team, veterans, and they made plays down the stretch."
The score was close throughout the game. It was tied 29-all after 12 minutes, New Orleans took a slim 52-51 lead after two quarters of play, and a similarly-played third frame ended with the hosts on top, 75-73.
The largest lead for either team in the first three quarter was six.
The Hornets played without forward James Posey, who was experiencing flu-like symptoms...Anthony has scored at least 30 points 27 times this season...Denver had scored at least 110 points in its previous four games...Denver overcame 19 turnovers by owning the glass, 49-36, and making 25-of-28 free throws... Nuggets sharpshooter J.R. Smith made just 1-of-12 from the floor for three points...Wright had 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals in defeat.
03/13 02:57:00 ET