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New Orleans at Denver

Venue: Pepsi Center

Playing at an especially high level at home, the Denver Nuggets enjoyed one of the most successful months in franchise history.

The New Orleans Hornets appeared to be having a breakthrough month before struggling the second half of January.

The Nuggets will try to carry their momentum into February and win for the 12th time in 14 games Friday night when they host the Hornets, who have lost four of five.

With a 118-110 victory over Houston on Wednesday, Denver (29-18) won its fifth straight to finish 12-3 in January. That matched the team's 2010 mark for the best January record in franchise history.

After being saddled with the heaviest road schedule in the NBA in 28 years with 22 of their first 32 games away from home, the Nuggets have taken advantage with 15 of 18 at home since the schedule turned in their favor Jan. 1.

The Nuggets have one of the league's best home records at 19-3, and they've won the first three on their six-game homestand.

"We knew from the beginning of the season January was the most important month of the season," said Danilo Gallinari, who had a game-high 27 points against the Rockets. "I thought we responded well."

Gallinari, the team's leading scorer at 17.0 points per game, heads into Friday's contest with a hot hand after totaling 54 points on 19-of-33 shooting - 7 for 15 from 3-point range - in his last two games.

Ty Lawson has totaled 39 points in his last two against the Hornets, scoring 17 on 8-of-10 shooting in a 102-84 home win Nov. 25.

Denver ranks near the top of the league in scoring at home with 108.0 points per game, and has averaged 113.4 during its five-game winning streak.

The Nuggets should be able to keep it going against the Hornets, who have given up 103.6 points per game over their last seven.

New Orleans (15-31) has won seven straight when holding opponents under 100 points, but that won't be easy against a Denver team that has scored 100 in regulation in 10 of its last 13 contests.

After winning six of seven during their best stretch of the season in January, New Orleans has lost five of seven and two in a row.

The Hornets, however, are expected to have Eric Gordon back in the lineup after missing a 104-99 loss at Utah on Wednesday. Gordon has been held out in the second game of back-to-backs while he recovers from a knee injury that caused him to miss the first third of this season.

Gordon has averaged 17.4 points and is coming off a season-best 25-point effort in a 111-106 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. New Orleans has won eight of the 14 games the guard has played.

Greivis Vasquez is averaging 11.7 assists over his last seven games, but he's shot 18 for 59 (30.5 percent) in his last four for New Orleans.

Without Gordon, the Hornets' starting guards shot 11 of 30 (36.7 percent) from the floor against the Jazz.

"A lot of times you guys look at the numbers and assists and you think they're playing well but they're not," coach Monty Williams said. "We're not managing the game properly."

The Nuggets have won four of six in the series, including two straight at home by an average of 16.5 points.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Odds
New Orleans 9 Denver -9
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
New Orleans5th Southwest 00.00000-0-
Denver1st Northwest 00.00000-0-

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New Orleans
Q PondexterKnee
G HarrisGroin
Key Players
, PF
28.5 Min. Per Game 34.7 Andre<br>Iguodala
, SG
13.0 Pts. Per Game 13.4
0.8 Ast. Per Game 4.6
7.6 Reb. Per Game 5.5
53.2 Field Goal % 43.3
0.0 Three Point % 30.6
72.2 Free Throw % 60.8
Team Rankings
New Orleans Hornets2271.80
Denver Nuggets1876.01
Series Game Log
Oct 26 @ New Orleans 
Mar 26Denver 
Apr 4 @ New Orleans 
Apr 7Denver 
Other Games
Miami 89 Final
Ind 102
LAC 73 Final
Tor 98
Orl 84 Final
Bos 97
Cle 99 Final
Det 117
Chi 89 Final
Brook 93
Mil 86 Final
NY 96
Sac 80 Final
Phi 89
Wash 76 Final
Mem 85
Dal 109 Final
Pho 99
Port 77 Final
Utah 86
LAL 111 Final
Min 100