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NBA Game Summary - New Orleans at Denver

(Monday, November 29th)

Final Score: Denver 76, New Orleans 67

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Earl Boykins scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half and Bryon Russell finished off the Hornets with 12 points in the second as the Denver Nuggets downed New Orleans, 76-67, at the Pepsi Center.

All of Russell's points came from beyond the arc, including a pair of threes on consecutive trips down the floor to put Denver ahead for good. Andre Miller added 14 points and dished out eight assists for the Nuggets, who notched their sixth win in seven tries despite the absence of an injured Carmelo Anthony.

Lee Nailon netted 16 points to lead the Hornets, who scored just eight points in the fourth quarter and are off to a dismal 1-12 start. P.J. Brown collected 11 points and eight rebounds while Junior Harrington scored 10.

New Orleans was ahead by four until Russell's first trey narrowed the gap to 65-64. After Darrell Armstrong misfired at the other end, Russell took a feed from Kenyon Martin and drained another three, his fourth of the half, with 6 1/2 minutes to play.

"Bryon Russell has been a breath of fresh air on this team both on and off the court," said Nuggets head coach Jeff Bzdelik. "He is very versatile."

Martin, slowed by back spasms, hit a turnaround jumper almost four minutes later and a pair of free throws by Miller capped a string of 12 straight points.

"We were very fortunate tonight," Bzdelik added. "We expected this type of game from New Orleans. We're not shooting the ball well at times so our defense has been our staple."

Boykins' 18 in the first half included a three-pointer that handed Denver a 36-26 lead with 4:47 to go in the second quarter.

Nailon then tallied six straight Hornets points to help his team break even at 39-39, but Boykins drained another three just before the halftime buzzer to give his team a 42-39 advantage.

"It's luck, more luck than skill," said Boykins, who also had another buzzer beater in the first period. "In the first half, I stepped up but in the second half it was a total team effort."

Nailon did more damage early in the third, scoring six consecutive points for a 47-46 New Orleans edge. His bucket near the start of the final stanza staked the Hornets to a 63-60 lead, but it was all downhill from there.

Game Notes

Anthony suffered a sprained ankle in Denver's win Saturday night against Houston and is questionable for Thursday's tilt against fellow sophomore LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers...Denver center Marcus Camby blocked four shots and pulled down a game-high 11 boards...The Nuggets, who finished 7-of-11 from three-point territory, are 7-3 at home so far this season...New Orleans made just eight trips to the foul line, making all of them.

11/30 01:22:55 ET

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