NBA Game Summary - Denver at New Orleans
(Monday, January 28th)
Final Score: New Orleans 117, Denver 93
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Chris Paul barely missed a triple-double, as he scored 23 points, doled out 17 assists, and grabbed nine rebounds, and the red-hot New Orleans Hornets scorched the Denver Nuggets, 117-93.
Tyson Chandler collected 16 rebounds and scored 10 points, and Peja Stojakovic scored 19 points for the Hornets, who won their ninth straight. Melvin Ely scored 16 points and grabbed nine boards, and David West and Jannero Pargo contributed 13 points apiece for the Hornets.
Allen Iverson scored 23 points for the Nuggets, who continued to play without forward Carmelo Anthony. Anthony has missed the last four games with a sprained left ankle. Kenyon Martin scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Denver, which has lost two straight and three of five. Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith added 14 points each for the Nuggets.
"The main thing the team talks about is continuing to focus on what we have to do and don't lose track of our goals," said Hornets head coach Byron Scott. "They hold each other accountable for things that happen on a basketball court. It makes my job a lot easier, especially this year. They have come in with a different focus than they have in the past."
The Hornets jumped on top of the overmatched Nuggets early, and never let up. Stojakovic and Morris Peterson drained early three-pointers, cueing a 12-4 run to start the game. Denver battled back, tying the game at 19-19 on an Iverson layup with 3:26 left, but the Hornets ran off 14 straight points.
Stojakovic and Pargo both canned threes on the 14-0 run, as New Orleans built a 33-19 lead. Eduardo Najera drained a three at the buzzer, though, pulling the Nuggets within 11 heading into the second quarter.
There the Hornets pulled away for good, outscoring Denver 30-18 in the frame. With the lead already at 49-36, the Hornets launched on a 14-4 run to close the first half. Paul closed it with a layup in the final seconds, and New Orleans took a 63-40 lead into the break.
The New Orleans lead reached 26 points in the third quarter, before a late Denver push cut the deficit to 87-68 entering the final 12 minutes.
"Right now we are struggling to score points, but we caught a great team," said Nuggets head coach George Karl. "I am not ready to jump on their bandwagon, but they're pretty good and I'm not sure what weakness they have. Chris Paul is a great point guard. He can go anywhere he wants to go. They have size, they have defense, they have shooters, they play as a team, they have a good bench and I can't think of a weakness they have right now."
The Hornets outscored the Nuggets, 30-25, in the frame to win going away.
The Hornets shot 50.6 percent from the field, compared to 42.7 percent by the Nuggets. New Orleans improved to 23-1 when shooting a better percentage than its opponent...New Orleans dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Nuggets 52-33.
01/28 23:28:50 ET