NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 23rd (All times eastern)
New Orleans Hornets (23-19) at Denver Nuggets (28-14), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Northwest Division-leading Denver Nuggets hope to keep a pair of streaks intact Saturday night, when they resume a three-game homestand versus the New Orleans Hornets at the Pepsi Center.
Denver has won five in a row overall and six straight in the Rocky Mountains, including a 105-85 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in the opener of the residency on Thursday. All-Star Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the win, helping the Nuggets improve to an impressive 19-3 mark at home. Only the Lakers have a better home record at 23-3.
"I knew guys were tired out there in the first half," Anthony said. "We had to find it from somewhere. That first five minutes of the third quarter we found energy from somewhere and that opened up the game."
Chauncey Billups chipped in 20 points and six assists, while Kenyon Martin contributed 13 points and 14 rebounds for Denver, which will close out the residency versus the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday.
New Orleans, meanwhile, opened a four-game road trip in winning fashion on Friday when James Posey played the hero again, sinking the winning layup as time expired to lift the Hornets to a 96-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota's Jonny Flynn converted a three-point play with 3.5 seconds left to tie the contest before New Orleans called a timeout. Posey got the ball on the inbound on the right side of the court, near the three-point line, and faked a handoff to point guard Chris Paul, who drew two defenders.
Suddenly free, Posey spun toward the basket and put up his attempt with time still on the clock, and the ball dropped through as the buzzer sounded to give the Hornets the win.
Posey's play came just two days after he made a layup with 1.1 seconds to go to lift the Hornets to a 113-111 win over Memphis. It also came more than a month after New Orleans beat Minnesota in a strikingly similar way, as Paul scored the go-ahead basket with 1.4 seconds left to give the Hornets a 97-96 victory on December 9.
Paul finished with 23 points and nine assists in Friday's victory despite getting poked in the eye by an elbow in the fourth quarter. Paul stayed in the game but forward David West left the contest in the second quarter after suffering a left ankle sprain and did not return. West had 14 points, while Darius Songaila added 13.
The Hornets defeated the Nuggets, 98-92, on December 18 at New Orleans Arena as Paul fell a rebound shy of a triple-double with 30 points, 19 assists and nine boards. They have won four of six and five of the last eight meetings.
These two teams have split the last 12 meetings in the Rockies.
01/23 10:44:02 ET