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 NEW ORLEANS (AP) -Chris Paul had 23 points, 17 assists, and nine rebounds, and the New Orleans Hornets ran away with their ninth straight win, 117-93 over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
Even in a game featuring recently elected All-Star starter Allen Iverson, Paul was the best player on the floor in this contest. Iverson also scored 23, but had only three assists and got little help other than from Kenyon Martin, who scored 18.
The game also featured a pair of centers vying for a reserve spot in the All-Star game: Denver's Marcus Camby and New Orleans' Tyson Chandler.
In this game there was no comparison. Chandler finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Camby was a non-factor for most of the first three quarters. He didn't score his first point until he made a free throw with 1:52 to go in the third period. He finished with three points and five rebounds.
The second-best center in the game was Hornets reserve Melvin Ely, who had 16 points and nine rebounds in only 23 minutes.
Peja Stojakovic hit four 3-pointers and finished with 19 points for New Orleans, and Jannero Pargo and David West each scored 13 points.
Recently elected All-Star Carmelo Anthony missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle, and the undermanned Nuggets struggled to keep pace.
Jazz 97, Spurs 91
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Deron Williams had 11 points and 14 assists and Utah won its fifth straight game.
Carlos Boozer and Andrei Kirilenko scored 23 points each for the Jazz, who controlled the team that dominated them in the Western Conference finals last season. The Spurs, who won the playoff series in five games, never led Monday night.
Tim Duncan had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Manu Ginobili scored 29 points for the Spurs, who were knocked around by Utah's physical play. San Antonio committed 20 turnovers.
Mavericks 103, Grizzlies 84
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Josh Howard hit his first eight shots on the way to 26 points and Dallas shot 54 percent in a victory over Memphis.
Howard finished 10-for-17 for Dallas, which has won four straight and 12 of its last 14. It also was the Mavericks' 13th straight win over the Grizzlies, including a sweep of Memphis in the opening round of the 2006 playoffs.
Dirk Nowitzki added 20 points and 11 rebounds and Jason Terry finished with 14 points for the Mavericks. Erick Dampier contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first game of a four-game trip that will take Dallas to Boston, Detroit and Orlando.
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 18 points, Kyle Lowry scored 17 and Juan Carlos Navarro had 16 points. Pau Gasol, finished with 13 points for Memphis, which lost its third game in the last four.
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