Spotlight on Greivis Vasquez: The 6-foot-6 point guard from Maryland (and Venezuela) ranks third in the NBA in assists, averaging 9.3 per game. He led the Hornets in assists for the first 63 games of the season. The Hornets rank only 22nd in the league in assists, averaging 21.2 per game. Vasquez and Heat star LeBron James are the only NBA players with at least six games of 20 points, 10 assists and five rebounds this season.
Hornets: Former Colorado State star Jason Smith (shoulder) is out for the season. ... The Hornets are trying to play spoilers in the lives of Nuggets fans. After beating the Grizzlies on Saturday, they play Denver on Monday and the Clippers on Wednesday. ... "We have to play more focused, a more tough-minded game to win on the road," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We start in New Orleans against a team that just beat Memphis, a very honest win on their part." ... This is Denver's last game against the Hornets, who next season will be known as the Pelicans.
Nuggets: Denver has won six consecutive road games, improving to 17-19 away from the Pepsi Center. ... The Nuggets have defeated the Hornets twice this season, both in Denver (102-84 and 113-98). ... The Nuggets outrebounded Sacramento 46-36 on Saturday, giving them a plus-258 rebound advantage this season. That ranks third in the NBA. ... Karl wasn't pleased with Denver's shot selection Saturday: "People don't understand, at halftime we were 1-13 outside the paint," he said. "We weren't much better in the second half. Everyone tries to shoot one or two (thinking), 'I'll try one. Oh, I see my guy (coming to take me) out of the game, I'll take another one.' Like I'm a dumb coach. Like I don't know what they're doing. It's just crazy stuff."