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Dec 18, 2009 10:37 PM

Paul has 30 points as Hornets top Nuggets 98-92

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Chris Paul had 30 points and a season-high 19 assists, and narrowly missed a triple-double with nine rebounds, to lift the New Orleans Hornets to a 98-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

Paul scored 26 points in the second half, and with his assists combined for 41 of the Hornets' 52 points over the final two quarters. Peja Stojakovic added 24 points, including four 3-pointers, to help New Orleans overcome a 15-point first-half deficit and win its second straight game. David West scored 12 points for New Orleans, while Emeka Okafor had 12 rebounds and five blocks.

J.R. Smith scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony had 17 for Denver, which was without starting point guard Chauncey Billups because of a pulled left groin.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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