Paul leads Hornets past Iverson's NuggetsNov 5, 2007 - 5:07 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Chris Paul continues to be the sparkplug for the New Orleans Hornets.
Paul scored 15 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed eight rebounds as the Hornets held off the Denver Nuggets, 93-88, on Sunday.
David West scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Rasual Butler provided a spark off the bench for New Orleans, which has won three straight to open the season.
A big reason for its hot start is Paul.
The third-year guard, who has scored 55 points and tallied 25 assists through three games, helped seal the win with three free throws down the stretch as the Nuggets tried to rally.
Denver, which shot just 36 percent (33-of-90) pulled within two at 90-88 on a putback by Nene, but Paul iced the game with the free throws.
"This is a huge win for us," Paul said. "Confidence-wise and team-wise. We're young but we've been through a lot of situations and we're learning as we go."
"We wanted to make every shot (the Nuggets) took to be a tough shot," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "Make sure we challenged every one and keep them off the line as much as possible."
New Orleans entered the fourth quarter with a 73-69 lead, but Butler hit two 3-pointers during an 11-4 fourth-quarter run that put New Orleans up 84-73 with 7:45 left in the fourth, and the Hornets never looked back.
"I was just trying to chip in," Butler said. "I'm working hard, and they're going in for me right now. I have a lot of confidence in my offensive game and I'm going to try and be aggressive."
Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 17 rebounds for New Orleans, which put the clamps down on Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets.
Iverson and Anthony combined to score 43 points on 16-of-49 shooting.
"We just didn't play well," Iverson said. "We couldn't get it going offensively, and I missed a lot of easy shots. They made us pay for it."
"Our offense was bad," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We had a lot of opportunities to run but no one wanted to run. It seemed like we wanted to play a catch and power game."
Marcus Camby was dominant on the glass, grabbing 21 boards to go with eight points, but Denver was still outrebounded, 54-53.
NEW ORLEANS 93
DENVER 88 FINAL
Nov 4 10:25 PM
NEW ORLEANS 73
DENVER 69 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 4 9:51 PM
NEW ORLEANS 48
DENVER 49 HALFTIME
Nov 4 9:10 PM
NEW ORLEANS 14
DENVER 21 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 4 8:37 PM
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