The situation for the Hornets was less than an ideal one, playing the second game of a back-to-back, against one of the Western Conferences best teams. For the first two-plus quarters, New Orleans played like a weary, overmatched opponent, falling behind by as many as 27 points. After a late surge that brought the Hornets within single digits, the Nuggets answered, keeping New Orleans (33-37) at arms length en route to a victory.
TNTs Cheryl Miller interviewed Chris Paul during a break in the action to learn more about Pauls progress and potential return from injury. Miller asked if he may come back either Saturday at Utah or Monday vs. Dallas in NOLA, but the three-time All-Star declined to commit to a specific date. Im moving pretty well, he said. Im having good days, day in and day out. I wouldnt say Im at full speed, but Im getting there. Assistant coach Robert Pack has been working me out before games, with one of my friends (Hornets video coordinator Irving Roland). So Im getting there.
Paul added on Darren Collison: Hes been playing unbelievable. But its hard with all the injuries we have. But hes doing a great job. Im happy hes on the team. I cant wait to get back so I can play with him.
You wouldnt expect one of the Hornets poorest offensive games of the season to come against an opponent that plays so up-tempo and was without one of their best defenders (Kenyon Martin), but thats what happened. New Orleans hadnt scored 80 points or fewer since Jeff Bowers head coaching debut on Nov. 13, when it tallied 78 in a game that was perhaps most notable for Pauls in-game ankle injury.
The Hornets actually put five players in double-digit scoring tonight, but no one had more than 15 points.