New Orleans won for just the fourth time in its last 11 games Friday night, beating Denver 97-91. Jamaal Magloire had 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Darrell Armstrong added 18 points and five steals to lead New Orleans.
“I’ve always said when we shy away from shooting 3s and go inside we’re a better team,” Magloire said. “Whenever we go inside, that opens everything up.”
After a 4-of-20 3-point shooting performance in a loss Wednesday to Philadelphia, the Hornets relentlessly sought to get the ball inside against the Nuggets.
New Orleans attempted only eight 3s (hitting three) and had seven dunks, including five by Magloire. The Hornets shot 51 percent.
Hornets coach Tim Floyd was impressed by the Hornets’ reduction in 3-pointers, and his team’s 27 free-throw attempts (they hit 22), the telling statistics.
“What happened is our guys really stayed in the offense instead of settling for outside shots, Floyd said.
San Antonio snuck past Phoenix on Friday night, as Tony Parker sank a 22-footer with 3.8 seconds to play to give the Spurs an 86-84 victory.
Tim Duncan, who had 25 points and 12 rebounds, hit a nine-footer and was fouled but missed the free throw and the Spurs trailed 84-82 with 1:08 left.
Rasho Nesterovic scored 16 points for San Antonio, which has won seven of its last 11 games.
The Spurs have won three straight games against the Hornets, and lead the all-time series 20-12.