Posey lifts Hornets past NuggetsNov 28, 2008 - 7:35 AM By Blake Redbaugh PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
DENVER (Ticker) -- After back-to-back triple-doubles, Chris Paul decided to let his teammates fill up the stat sheet on Thursday.
Paul led the way with 22 points as the New Orleans Hornets claimed a 105-101 victory against the Denver Nuggets on Thanksgiving at the Pepsi Center.
Paul, who was attempting to become only the third player in the last 12 seasons to achieve a triple-double in three straight games, fell short of that accomplishment, dishing out 10 assists and collecting four rebounds for the Hornets, who earned their fourth straight victory.
"This was a huge test for us," Paul said. "The game was crazy. It really showed a lot of guts from our team and we persevered. Hopefully we can build off this win."
New Orleans' 3-point shooting carried them in this one as Peja Stojakovic and Rasual Butler were a combined 8-of-12 from the arc.
Butler finished with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting and Stojakovic added 15, but it was James Posey's lone 3-pointer that helped the Hornets keep their winning streak alive.
"It was one of the biggest victories for us this year," New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. "A lot of contributions from a lot of guys. We needed it from everybody because we knew we were playing a very good team tonight."
With New Orleans clinging to a four-point lead with 40 seconds remaining, Carmelo Anthony was fouled by Posey while attempting a 3-pointer. Anthony hit the first two free throws before missing the third.
Nene grabbed the offensive rebound and passed to Anthony, whose dunk tied the score, 98-98.
Posey, who finished with seven points, wasted no time responding, drilling a three from the right wing to give the Hornets a 101-98 advantage with 19 seconds left to play.
"I was spacing the floor for Chris Paul," Posey said. "He created and all the attention was on him. He made a good pass and I was able to knock down the shot."
Chauncey Billups missed a three on the ensuing possession and Stojakovic and Paul each hit a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"It was a tough game, we had them," said Billups, who finished with 12 points. "It was back and forth most of the fourth quarter and they got some crucial plays to go in their favor."
"I have never seen a game where so much good fortune favored one team," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "The last three minutes both teams executed to perfection but we came up short."
New Orleans, which beat the Nuggets for the third time in the last four meetings, led for a majority of the game.
A 10-2 run to open up the second half gave them their biggest lead, 62-48, with 9:24 remaining in the third quarter.
J.R. Smith came off the bench to lead the Nuggets with 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting. Anthony added 24 for Denver, which dropped to 9-3 since acquiring Billups from the Detroit Pistons on November 3.
"They couldn't really stop (Smith)," Billups said. "Everything he did was effective. He was in one those grooves that we know he can get in."
NEW ORLEANS 105
DENVER 101 FINAL
Nov 28 1:21 AM
NEW ORLEANS 76
DENVER 69 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 28 12:38 AM
NEW ORLEANS 52
DENVER 46 HALFTIME
Nov 27 11:49 PM
NEW ORLEANS 32
DENVER 22 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 27 11:14 PM
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