He hadnt played a minute in nine days. He may not have played again tonight, either, if not for an early-game injury to backup shooting guard Morris Peterson. Fittingly during a stretch of the season when just about everyone has chipped in to help the Hornets continue to win games, Devin Brown took full advantage of his opportunity to play against Denver.
Brown, whose last appearance on the court was Jan. 19 vs. Indiana, sparked what was probably the best game of the season for the Hornets bench. Brown poured in a season-high 18 points (taking only 7 shots), leading the reserves, who produced 42 points.
You just always have to be ready in that situation, Brown said. Thats what veteran players have to do. Were so deep, that when you get an opportunity to play, you have to take advantage of it.
We knew how big of a game this was tonight, especially after what happened in the game at Denver the last time we played them.
Other than the play of the subs Sean Marks (6 points, 7 rebounds in 18 minutes), Antonio Daniels and Ryan Bowen also made nice contributions the defense was the big story from this game. Even without Carmelo Anthony (fractured hand), Denver is one of the most high-powered offenses in the league. New Orleans forced 19 turnovers, and the Nuggets were just 4-for-22 from three-point range.
Denver's 81 points were its lowest output of the season and only the fourth time this season the Nuggets have been held under 90 points.
New Orleans improved to 4-1 since David West (back spasms) was sidelined due to injury, prior to the Jan. 19 Indiana game. Tyson Chandler (ankle) was injured early in that Pacers contest, so New Orleans has essentially been without its starting power forward and center for five games.