"I got my Dikembe Mutombo and Shaquille O'Neal old-school swag,"
the 5-foot-9 Robinson said. "Tell them guys watch out, I'm blocking
Robinson's block — one of his two in the game — highlighted a
strong defensive second half for the Denver Nuggets, who beat the
New Orleans Pelicans 102-93.
Center J.J. Hickson and forward Wilson Chandler each scored 19
points to lead a balanced attack for the Nuggets. Hickson also had
Robinson came off the bench to score 14 points for the Nuggets, who
had five players score at least 12 points.
It was Robinson's blocks that delighted the crowd. His first came on
guard Brian Roberts in the second quarter, and his block on Gordon
led to a layup for him that gave the Nuggets a 90-78 lead.
"Two blocks and no (technicals)," coach Brian Shaw said. "We'll take
It wasn't the performance the Pelicans were looking for. They were
outrebounded 51-31 and struggled from the field in the second half.
Forward Ryan Anderson had a game-high 26 points and guard Austin
Rivers scored a season-high 17 for the Pelicans, who had their
two-game win streak snapped.
"We just didn't have the same juice tonight that you need to win a
game on the road, and it was winnable," Pelicans coach Monty
Williams said. "We settled for a lot of jump shots, and when you do
that you set yourself up for a lot of fast breaks."
Denver had something to do with the Pelicans' struggles. The Nuggets
got the defensive quarter they needed in the third. They held New
Orleans to 30.4 percent shooting (7-for-23) and 16 points in the
period to take a seven-point lead into the fourth.
Denver grabbed control midway through the period with an 8-0 run
that turned a one-point lead into a 71-62 advantage. The Pelicans
missed seven straight shots and had two turnovers during Denver's
run that ended with Roberts' 3-pointer from the wing.
"Those are all shots we can make. It happens in games," Anderson
said. "The challenge was when you miss shots like that you give up
fast-break opportunities. We had a cold stretch that hurt us but it
still means we have to run back and play defense. We didn't have it
in the second half."
[to top of second column]
The combination of solid defense and cold shooting by New
Orleans continued into the fourth. The Pelicans missed their
first three shots of the period and fell behind 79-68 on two
jumpers by guard Andre Miller.
Anderson hit a jumper to cut it to eight but Hickson's driving
dunk with 3:41 left gave Denver a 94-80 lead. With New Orleans
shooting just 37 percent in the second half, it was too much of
a lead to overcome.
"I don't know what they shot in the second half but it couldn't
have been high," said Hickson, who got his sixth double-double
of the season. "We wanted to contest all their shots and we did
The Pelicans jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first 2:08,
prompting Shaw to call a timeout. Shaw, concerned about his
team's slow starts of late, stopped the momentum with the break
and Denver went on a 16-5 run.
"I felt like we were in control the whole time, I just wanted
our guys to relax," Shaw said.
New Orleans withstood the run and led by five late in the second
quarter before the Nuggets rallied to tie it at 52-all on guard
Randy Foye's 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds left in the first half.
NOTES: New Orleans reserve G Tyreke Evans did not play after
aggravating his sprained left ankle in Friday's win over
Memphis. Evans, usually the Pelicans' first player off the
bench, is day-to-day. ... The Nuggets kept their starting lineup
intact despite coach Brian Shaw threatening to shake things up
following Friday's home loss to Utah. The starters allowed 33
first-quarter points. "Sometimes you have to shake things up to
get everybody's attention," Shaw said. "It wasn't just the
result of last game, it's something that's been plaguing us
since we left for the road trip." ... Pelicans starting C Jason
Smith played his college ball at Colorado State and reserve F
Lou Amundson was a prep star at Monarch High School in
Louisville, Colo. ... Denver's 70.8 free-throw percentage ranks
27th in the NBA.
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