Brian Roberts, starting at point guard in place of the injured Greivis Vasquez, set a club record with 18 assists and scored 13 points in a resounding 110-86 win over Denver Monday night at New Orleans Arena.
Denver’s win streak ended at 15. The Hornets won three in a row for the second time this season.
New Orleans also played without shooting guard Eric Gordon. He was a late scratch for what head coach Monty Williams called a sore ankle.
Ryan Anderson scored 23 for New Orleans. He made 5 of the Hornets’ 14 made three point shots. Darius Miller, starting in place of Gordon, scored 16 points. Roger Mason Jr., who did not play in the club’s last two games, contributed 14 points.
Nuggets coach George Karl tipped his hat to the Hornets and Roberts. “They played great,” said Karl. “The little kid passed the ball as well as anyone has passed it on us in a long time. And, they played with the type of defensive intensity we haven’t seen in a long time.”
Roberts became the 20th NBA rookie to have 18 or more assists in a game. Darren Collison last did it for the Hornets in 2010.
New Orleans hosts the Clippers Wednesday night and the Heat Friday night. Miami won its 27th game in a row Wednesday night at Orlando. The Heat plays at Chicago Wednesday night, and Friday night against the Hornets at New Orleans Arena.