Chris Paul had 15 points and 15 assists, and visiting New Orleans won for the seventh time in eight games, 105-89 over trade-depleted Charlotte last night.
David West and Peja Stojakovic each scored 17 points for New Orleans (12-6), which led by as many as 23 points in the second quarter and held a comfortable lead the rest of the way. Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 11 rebounds before all the starters left the game for the final period.
Rookie D.J. Augustin scored a career-high 28 points to lead Charlotte, which took the floor with a depleted lineup shortly after a multiplayer trade that sent leading scorer Jason Richardson to Phoenix.
Charlotte also sent small forward Jared Dudley and a 2010 second-round draft pick to the Suns. The Bobcats got Raja Bell, Boris Diaw and Sean Singletary (Penn Charter) from Phoenix.
With Richardson gone, Bobcats coach Larry Brown said he would make the crowd pleasing move of starting Augustin, who starred at Brother Martin High School in New Orleans before playing for Texas in college. The crowd roared when Augustin was introduced.
He played 37 minutes at point guard and had seven assists, then got another ovation when he left the game for good with under 2 minutes to go. Alexis Ajinca scored 12 points, and Matt Carroll 10 for Charlotte.
Paul's performance gave him 15 double-doubles through New Orleans' first 18 games.
In games last night:
* At Denver, Carmelo Anthony matched the NBA record for points in a quarter with 33 in the third and finished with a season-high 45 points in the Nuggets' 116-105 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Anthony tied the NBA mark of 33 points set by San Antonio's George Gervin in the second quarter against New Orleans on April 9, 1978. Anthony broke the franchise record of 32 set by David Thompson against Detroit, also on April 9, 1978.
* At Oklahoma City, Rudy Gay had 22 points, and Mike Conley scored 14 of his 16 points in fourth quarter to help Memphis beat the Thunder, 108-102. The Grizzlies have won two in a row for the first time this season.
* At San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored 27 points in a return to his sixth-man role to help the Spurs beat Atlanta, 95-89, for their fourth straight victory.
* At Toronto, Jason Kapono scored a season-high 25 points, Chris Bosh added 21 points and 10 rebounds and the Raptors snapped a five-game losing streak with a 101-88 victory over Indiana.
* At East Rutherford, N.J., Al Harrington scored a season-high 39 points, Tim Thomas added 26 and New York rallied to beat the Nets, 121-109.
* At Oakland, Stephen Jackson led seven players in double figures with 21 points as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 119-96.
* New Orleans sent veteran guard Mike James to Washington for Antonio Daniels as part of a three-team trade that returned a first-round draft pick from the Wizards to Memphis. Memphis also dealt second-year guard Javaris Crittenton to Washington and sent a conditional second-round pick to New Orleans, while the Wizards waived guard Dee Brown. *