Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Tuesday, December 11th
Game 2: Monday, January 7th

Nuggets 80


Hornets 94

(15-18, 6-9 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 7, 2002

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    DEN 24 15 21 2080
    CHA 27 27 18 2294

    Top Performers

    Denver: N. Van Exel 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 9 Ast

    Charlotte: E. Campbell 21 Pts, 18 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Charlotte dominates smaller Nuggets in winning 94-80

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- P.J. Brown wanted to do two things upon his return to Charlotte's lineup -- give the Hornets some of the energy they've been missing and spark better play in teammate Elden Campbell.

    He did both.

    Brown, who missed Charlotte's previous game with a sprained ankle, had a career-high 22 rebounds Monday night and Campbell had 21 points and 18 rebounds in a 94-80 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

    "I think he and I can get 20 and 20 (rebounds) a night, play well together and lead the charge of this team," Brown said. "It's just a matter of putting our minds together and I try to be the fire up under Elden's behind to do it."

    The Hornets were flat and listless in the defeat Saturday against the New Jersey Nets, when Brown watched from the sideline in street clothes. Knowing energy was the one thing that was missing, he set out to give it to the team early.

    He did, grabbing 11 of his rebounds in the first quarter when the Hornets made it clear they were going to use their sizable height advantage to send Denver to its fourth consecutive defeat.

    "I just tried to come in and set the tone and give us some energy," Brown said. "I thought that was missing against the Nets, we were so lethargic, and I just tried to hustle and do the things I'm best at."

    Brown wasn't given a chance to reach the franchise record of 23 rebounds. Leading by 15 points with less than three minutes to play in the game, he was taken out to rest his ankle, which he first sprained last Thursday.

    "I didn't know about the record," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "But I don't know if it would have mattered. I didn't want him to re-injure himself or aggravate it anymore."

    Brown, who had 15 defensive rebounds, said it didn't matter.

    "I didn't even know I was at 20," he said. "Everyone kept saying `One more P.J., grab one more' and I didn't even realize."

    The Hornets outrebounded Denver 61-35, scored 44 points in the paint, held the Nuggets to just nine offensive rebounds and held big men Raef LaFrentz, Scott Williams and James Posey to a combined 18 points and 12 rebounds.

    "You can't let two guys grab 40 rebounds, that's an embarrassment to our bigs," said forward George McCloud, who had three rebounds before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a strained calf. "All of our bigs should be embarrassed."

    Nuggets coach Mike Evans was so disgusted that he only let starters LaFrentz and Williams play a combined nine minutes in the second half.

    "I didn't get the job done," said Lafrentz, who had six points and four rebounds. "I had no problem with him taking me out. If I was him, I would have pulled (me too)."

    Campbell, who grabbed 12 of his boards on the defensive end, didn't have a reason for his strong night.

    "You don't expect to outrebound a team like that, but we have guys who can do it," he said. "You just have exceptional nights sometimes."

    Lee Nailon added 16 points for the Hornets while David Wesley scored 15 and Baron Davis 13.

    Nick Van Exel, held scoreless in Denver's defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, led the Nuggets with 24 points despite a strained lower back.

    Posey added 10 for the Nuggets, who have lost eight of their past nine games and dropped a season-low 12 games under .500.

    Game notes
    Van Exel his hit first four shots of the game, then missed his next four. ... Denver has lost 10 of its last 13 games against Charlotte. ... The Charlotte City Council added a last-minute agenda to its Monday night meeting, agreeing to hear a proposal from community business leaders on a new sports and entertainment complex. The Hornets say they need a new arena to stay in Charlotte.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 80 94
    FGM-FGA 32-90 (.356) 37-84 (.440)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 2-11 (.182)
    FTM-FTA 10-13 (.769) 18-24 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-35 21-61
    Assists 19 19
    Turnovers 10 16
    Steals 8 5
    Blocks 6 10
    Fast Break Points 8 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 18 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Nick Van Exel Van Exel
    Points: 24
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Elden Campbell Campbell
    Points: 21
    Reb: 18
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4