Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 11/16

Game 1: Wednesday, November 16th
Game 2: Wednesday, November 30th
Game 3: Saturday, March 18th

Nuggets 91

(4-5, 1-4 away)

Hornets 81

(2-5, 1-3 home)

Coverage: COX

7:00 PM ET, November 16, 2005

Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 22 27 20 2291
NO 25 19 16 2181

Top Performers

Denver: C. Anthony 31 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

NO/Oklahoma City : D. West 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

Anthony scores season-high 31 in Nugget win over Hornets

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets didn't let another big second-half lead slip away.

Anthony scored a season-high 31 points and keyed a decisive 13-point run in the fourth quarter to help Denver beat the New Orleans Hornets 91-81 on Wednesday night.

The Hornets cut into a nine-point deficit with a 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter, but Anthony scored seven points as Denver pulled away with a 13-0 surge to go up 84-69.

"The ball was dropping for me," Anthony said. "My shot's falling, I'm taking good shots and getting out in the open court and getting easy baskets."

New Orleans closed to 86-79 before Anthony put the game away with a two-handed jam with 1:10 left.

Marcus Camby added 15 points and 15 rebounds and Andre Miller also scored 15 for the Nuggets, who won their first road game. Denver led by 19 in the second half at Dallas on Tuesday night before allowing the Mavericks to come back for an 83-80 win.

"We needed this one," Camby said. "We thought we let one slip away last night."

Chris Paul scored 18 points and David West added 16 for New Orleans, which lost its fourth straight game. After beating Sacramento 93-67 in their season opener, the Hornets have lost their last three games at Oklahoma City's Ford Center, their temporary home after Hurricane Katrina pushed them out of New Orleans.

Anthony was on the bench when the Hornets started their comeback at the outset of the fourth quarter.

Speedy Claxton converted a three-point play and Desmond Mason was fouled on a jumper to get New Orleans within 69-65 before Anthony came back in.

After a basket by Denver's Earl Watson, West and Mason hit back-to-back jumpers to cut New Orleans' deficit to 71-69, and Denver coach George Karl called a timeout.

"George just told us to stay focused," Anthony said. "That was the main thing. Just stay focused out there and not let it slip away like we did yesterday."

"We were in the same situation with Dallas, and I guess we kind of had flashback," Anthony added. "We didn't want to end up in the same situation."

After the timeout, Anthony took over.

He hit a pair of free throws then connected on the game's only 3-pointer on the Nuggets' next trip. His steal led to a fast break that resulted in a pair of free throws by Earl Boykins, and his basket in the lane stretched Denver's lead to 80-69.

Eduardo Najera and Watson each added a pair of free throws and the Nuggets had a 15-point lead -- their largest of the game.

Game notes

Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin sat out for the second time in three games with tendinitis in his left knee. He said he didn't know whether he'd be able to play Friday against the New York Knicks. ... West missed a free throw to end his streak of 13 straight makes to start the season. ... New Orleans guard J.R. Smith missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Najera, who ranks eighth in University of Oklahoma history with 1,646 points scored, got warm applause when he replaced Camby midway through the first quarter. ... The Nuggets swept all four games against the Hornets last season. ... The Hornets finished the game 0-for-13 on 3-pointers.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 91 81
FGM-FGA 35-73 (.479) 29-79 (.367)
3PM-3PA 1-6 (.167) 0-13 (.000)
FTM-FTA 20-27 (.741) 23-34 (.676)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-44 14-46
Assists 18 17
Turnovers 18 21
Steals 13 8
Blocks 4 1
Fast Break Points 32 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (0/0) 27 (1/0)
Largest Lead 15 7

Top Performers

No/oklahoma City
Carmelo Anthony Anthony
Points: 31
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 4
Blk: 0
David West West
Points: 16
Reb: 9
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 0