Game On: Nuggets @ Hornets

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Published: March 12, 2010

Marcus Thornton vs. NeneBefore the struggling and shorthanded Hornets embark on their season-long, five-game road trip, they have the small matter of dealing with the 43-21 Denver Nuggets tonight at the New Orleans Arena. Game tips at 7 Central.

The Nuggets own the fifth-best record in the NBA, are 15-16 on the road and come in having won four straight. During that streak, they’ve averaged 117 points per game. Most recently they played the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Wednesday, coming away with a 110-102 victory despite the absence of head coach George Karl. Chauncey Billups led the way with 25 points against the T’Wolves. Carmelo Anthony chipped in with 19 points, but had scored at least 30 in each of his previous three. Denver has also been getting huge contributions from J.R. Smith and Chris Andersen off the bench lately.

This is the third of four meetings between the teams this season, with the final showdown coming next Thursday in Denver. Chris Paul dropped 30 and 19 on the Nuggs back in December as the Hornets pulled out a 98-92 win in New Orleans. The Nuggets got revenge on their home floor in January, as they dominated the glass and had all their starters score in double figures for a 116-110 win.

Both clubs are pretty beat up for this one, especially the Hornets, who are down to just eight healthy bodies since James Posey is out with flu-like symptoms. The good news though is that Chris Paul has finally been cleared to start running again. As for the Nuggets, they’ll be without Kenyon Martin (knee), while Ty Lawson has missed the last five games with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable tonight.

Numbers:

Pace: Nuggets 97.9 (5th), Hornets 94.7 (18th)
Offensive Efficiency: Nuggets 109.1 (2nd), Hornets 104.6 (13th)
Defensive Efficiency: Nuggets 104.2 (16th), Hornets 106.2 (18th)

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(Many thanks to Dariusz for today’s banner featuring Desmond Mason. Be sure to check out more of Dariusz’s designs in our Wallpapers vault.)

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