by Clay A. Smith
Photograph by Jonathan Bachman
The ailing Hornets suffered another Western Conference loss in a key battle with the Denver Nuggets. Still missing starters Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic, New Orleans had their 3-game win streak snapped, 101-88.
But despite Carmelo Anthony's 29 points and Chauncey Billups' 26 points, Hornets' head coach Byron Scott said he's unconcerned with his team's play. Hilton Armstrong continued to take advantage of his opportunity with 10 points in twenty-four minutes. David West added 18. Chris Paul had a double-double as usual with 19 points and 13 assists and if not for Julian Wrights' 9 point night all five Hornets' starters would have scored in double figures.
However the Hornets' reserves remain the achilles heel of an otherwise effective unit. They've been outscored in nineteen of their last twenty-four contests -- with the rare exception usually being a byproduct big nights from James Posey. Billups alone scored more than the entire Hornets' bench who only contributed twenty-two points. And they allowed ex-Hornets Chris "Birdman" Anderson and J.R."Jack-it-up" Smith to team up for 25 points and 9 rebounds.
At the moment, New Orleans remains a team unable keep up against potential playoff foes. After the Nuggets scored an impressive road win at the Hive, their should be some concern that they could meet Denver again.
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