DENVER (AP)—Facing an opponent that had played the night before, the game plan for the Denver Nuggets was simple. Run, and run often.
“You have to take advantage of a team playing their second night, we wanted to take advantage of it by running,” Denver rookie Carmelo Anthony said. “So we ran them into the air and a lot of them were tired in the second half. You could see it.”
“We played unselfishly and with effort,” Denver coach Jeff Bzdelik said, noting the Nuggets had 30 assists on their 44 field goals. “We came out and controlled the game right from the start. We played unselfishly and with effort.”
Nene had his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Camby had 14 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double. Denver had lost 12 of its previous 15 meetings with the Hornets.
Baron Davis had 25 points on 9-for-18 shooting as New Orleans matched its longest losing streak of the season—two games.
“It was a lack of effort on our part with bad turnovers, careless turnovers,” Davis said. “We never gave ourselves a chance.”
Denver sat its starters for the entire fourth quarter. Davis hit a 3-pointer and layup to get New Orleans within 106-82 before Jon Barry’s 3-pointer with 4:38 remaining put the Hornets away.
“I sat out the whole fourth quarter,” Anthony said. “It felt good to be rested and fresh for what’s ahead.”
This was the first of four games in six days for the Nuggets.
New Orleans was within 16 points twice in the third quarter, the final time 78-62 after P.J. Brown’s jumper. The Nuggets took a 92-70 lead into the fourth quarter as Anthony scored five points and Camby’s dunk beat the buzzer.
The Hornets got off slowly, managing only a hook shot by Jamaal Magloire in their first 10 attempts to fall behind 17-4. With Anthony scoring 10 points, the Nuggets led 30-14 after one quarter.
“That team just jumped on our butts from the tip,” said New Orleans guard David Wesley. “They just jumped on us and we didn’t have an answer.”
Denver’s offense kept the pressure up with 68 percent (13-for-19) shooting in the second quarter. A dunk by Nene, who had his double-double by halftime, gave the Nuggets a 52-23 lead.
“It wasn’t just the start,” New Orleans coach Tim Floyd said. “It was asnowball that just kept going.”
New Orleans was 5-for-19 in the first quarter. … The Hornets are 7-2 on the second night of back-to-back games. … Even in defeat, the Hornets matched their start after 26 games a year ago (17-9). … Denver didn’t win its 15th game last season until its 70th game. The Nuggets were 6-18 after 24 gameslast year.