97 - 110 Final
  for this game

Afflalo, Nuggets take sting out of Hornets

Mar 10, 2012 - 7:59 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Arron Afflalo scored 28 points as the Denver Nuggets downed the New Orleans Hornets, 110-97, at Pepsi Center.

"We need to get more energy in the building," said Afflalo after the game, "and that starts on the defensive end, getting some fastbreaks, some dunks, some energy plays that allow us to be the team we want to be."

Al Harrington added 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Ty Lawson finished with 11 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets, who won for the fifth time in six games.

Lance Thomas had 18 points and Jarrett Jack netted 17 for New Orleans, which dropped its fourth straight.

The opening eight minutes of the game saw five lead changes, one tie and neither team take a lead larger than four until Nene's layup sparked a 13-4 run by the Nuggets to jump out to a 30-21 advantage with a little over a minute left in the first quarter.

Marco Belinelli, though, hit a jumper and a three-pointer around a Harrington layup to bring New Orleans within 32-26 at the end of one.

Thomas started the second quarter with a pair of free throws followed by a jumper to close the gap to two, but Denver would maintain its lead until back- to-back baskets by Al-Farouq Aminu and Jack put the Hornets ahead, 38-37, at the midpoint of the frame.

However, the Nuggets would regain their lead with an Afflalo trey that kicked off an 8-2 swing to put Denver ahead 45-40.

Denver would not trail again and carried a 50-46 advantage into the break.

New Orleans stayed within striking distance for the first six minutes of the third quarter, trailing by no more than two possessions until Harrington's layup sparked a 10-2 run by the Nuggets to jump out to a double-digit lead, 74-63, with a little under three minutes left in the third.

The Hornets would only threaten one more time in the contest, when an 8-2 spurt that carried into the fourth quarter closed the gap to six, 81-75.

But Harrington stopped the run with a trey that was followed by a pair of Corey Brewer foul shots and New Orleans never got closer than nine for the remainder of the contest.

"That's what they do, they score a lot of points," remarked Hornets forward Trevor Ariza. "Our defense, we're supposed to stop teams so we didn't do a good job of doing what we normally do."

Game Notes

Belinelli finished with 12 points for New Orleans, while Nene also had 12 for the Nuggets...Denver improved to 2-1 on a season-high nine-game homestand and 12-9 at home overall...The Hornets fell to 0-3 on a four-game road trip and 5-15 on the road for the season...Denver outscored New Orleans in the paint, 62-32.