OKLAHOMA CITY – Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 31 points and keyed a decisive 13-point run in the fourth quarter to help the Denver Nuggets beat the New Orleans Hornets 91-81 on Wednesday night.

The Hornets cut into a nine-point deficit with a 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter, but Anthony scored seven points as Denver pulled away with a 13-0 surge to go up 84-69.

New Orleans closed to 86-79 before Anthony put the game away with a two-handed jam with 1:10 left.

Marcus Camby added 15 points and 15 rebounds and Andre Miller also scored 15 for the Nuggets, who won their first road game.

Chris Paul scored 18 points and David West added 16 for New Orleans, which lost its fourth straight game. After beating Sacramento 93-67 in their season opener, the Hornets have lost their last three games at Oklahoma City’s Ford Center, their temporary home after Hurricane Katrina pushed them out of New Orleans.

Anthony was on the bench when the Hornets started their comeback at the outset of the fourth quarter.

Speedy Claxton converted a three-point play and Desmond Mason was fouled on a jumper to get New Orleans within 69-65.

After a basket by Denver’s Earl Watson, West and Mason hit back-to-back jumpers to cut New Orleans’ deficit to 71-69, but then Anthony took over.

Anthony hit a pair of free throws then connected on the game’s first 3-pointer on the Nuggets’ next trip. His steal led to a fast break that resulted in a pair of free throws by Earl Boykins, and his basket in the lane stretched Denver’s lead to 80-69.

Eduardo Najera and Watson each added a pair of free throws and the Nuggets had a 15-point lead – their largest of the game.

Notes: Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin sat out for the second time in three games with tendinitis in his left knee. He said he didn’t know whether he’d be able to play Friday against the New York Knicks. … West missed a free throw to end his streak of 13 straight makes to start the season. … New Orleans guard J.R. Smith missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Najera, who ranks eighth in University of Oklahoma history with 1,646 points scored, got warm applause when he replaced Camby midway through the first quarter. … The Nuggets swept all four games against the Hornets last season. … The Hornets finished the game 0-for-13 on 3-pointers.

AP-ES-11-16-05 2239EST

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