Anthony—Denver’s leading scorer at 20.3 points per game—sprained his left ankle Monday in a 101-92 loss to the New Jersey Nets.
X-rays and an MRI showed no break and the Nuggets listed him as day-to-day.
“I don’t think it’s a long time, but it will probably be a game, maybe two or three,” Denver coach George Karl said.
Anthony had 31 points on Nov. 16 in a win over the Hornets that started a season-high four-game winning streak for the Nuggets.
Injuries are nothing new this season for Denver. Bryon Russell and Nene had season-ending knee injuries in the training camp and the season opener, respectively. Marcus Camby and Kenyon Martin have been in and out of the lineup, and Francisco Elson missed time with a concussion.
Camby, the league’s leading rebounder with 13.6 per game, had 10 points and 10 rebounds Monday in his return. He missed one game with a leg bruise.
“When we had Nene, we had this confidence, this toughness, we could afford an injury, we could afford foul trouble, we could afford to play different ways against different styles, and we had all the answers for everything,” Karl said.
Camby has registered double-doubles in four of his last seven games against the Hornets. The Nuggets have won five straight against New Orleans since a 97-91 road loss on Jan. 23, 2004.
The surprising Hornets have gone 4-2 since starting the season at 2-5.
New Orleans won just 18 games last season and didn’t notch its seventh win until Jan. 22.
The Hornets have split the first two games of a three-game road trip and are coming off a 99-83 defeat Monday against the Golden State Warriors.
“We had no energy,” Hornets coach Byron Scott said. “We played very passively. It was a passionless game. I hate losing. The effort was 50 percent instead of 100. This is a step backward.”
The Hornets shot just 41.9 percent from the field (31-for-74) and 18.2 percent from 3-point range (2-for-11). New Orleans has shot 50 percent or better in just two games this season and ranks 29th in the league in 3-point percentage at 26.3. The Nuggets are last at 23.4 percent.
Paul leads the team in scoring at 16.8 points per game and steals with 26, both tops among rookies.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 29): Hornets - 4th place, 4 1/2 GB, Southwest Division. Nuggets - 1st place (tied), Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Hornets - Paul, 16.8 ppg and 6.6 apg; Brown, 8 rpg. Nuggets - Anthony, 20.3 ppg; Camby, 13.6 rpg; Miller, 7.3 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Nuggets, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 16; Nuggets, 91-81. At New Orleans, Anthony tallied 31 points to pace five double-digit scorers for the Nuggets.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hornets - 3-4 on the road; Nuggets - 6-2 at home.