LAS VEGAS -- The Denver Nuggets (4-1) outlasted the New Orleans Hornets (1-4) in their triple overtime victory Sunday night at the 2009 NBA Summer League presented by EA SPORTS from the Thomas and Mack Arena. The Nuggets won by a two-point margin, 107-105, with help from two Coby Karl free throws.
Sonny Weems paced the Nuggets with a game-high 28 points. Ty Lawson followed closely with 24 of his own. Karl was third on the team with 19 points, while C.J. Giles provided a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards.
New Orleans had two players reach the 20-point plateau. Julian Wright notched 24 to Jaycee Carroll's 22. Earl Calloway chipped in 13 to Earl Barron's 11. Anthony Tolliver joined Giles in the double-double club with a combination of 12 points and 11 rebounds to achieve the feat.
The game featured 16 lead changes and 11 ties before it was all said and done. The fourth quarter alone saw the teams jockey back and forth eight times. More impressively, it witnessed both rattle off long runs over the first three quarters.
Both teams had opportunities to claim the game down the stretch, but it wasn't until Karl's free throws with 26 seconds left in the third OT decided the marathon affair.
Denver began the game with as much as a six-point lead before watching New Orleans turn things around offensively to conclude the first quarter. The two teams traded the lead five times in the first quarter with the Hornets owning the final one that occurred with 2:38 remaining in the opening period. New Orleans ended the quarter on a 9-1 run to own a 30-23 lead.
The Hornets kept its offense rolling in the second, as they extended their run to 20-5 over 8:04 and a lead of 43-27. New Orleans achieved another 16-point cushion before watching Denver make a run of its own. The Nuggets rattled off a 21-8 streak to head into intermission trailing by three. Weems was a key ingredient for Denver's comeback bid, as he scored 10 of his 12 first-half points in the second period.
The Nuggets opened up the third quarter with a bucket to cut the Hornets' lead to one at 53-52, but that was as close as they would get in the frame. New Orleans went back up by nine, 70-61, before watching Denver creep within three to end the period. Weems threw down an emphatic dunk with 0.4 second remaining on the clock to bring his team within one possession of tying the game.
New Orleans maintained its lead until Denver went up by one at 82-81 3:04 into the fourth. From that point on the teams would battle back and forth until Jaycee Carroll knotted up the game with 1:15 left before regulation expired.
Neither team could pull ahead by more than two at any point of the three extra sessions, as a two-point edge by Denver was the final result.