Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter
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NEW ORLEANS The Hornets are without two key players as they host the second-hottest team in the NBA.

Starting guards Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez have been deemed out against Denver, which comes to the Arena on a 15-game winning streak. Both will miss with ankle injuries.

Vasquez attempted to coax his coach into letting him play, but Monty Williams said no.

'He just tried,' Williams said about 90 minutes prior to the game. 'I squashed it right away. Greivis is a warrior. If he says he's hurting, I know he's hurting bad. Being the coach, I have to be the brains for our guys at times. I'm not going to allow him to play in that condition.'

Rookie Brian Roberts will start in Vasquez's place while rookie Darius Miller will likely go in place of Gordon.

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