Gallinari scored 15 points during the third quarter, helping Denver turn a two-point halftime deficit into a lead as large as 11 late in the period.
Early in the quarter, he hit twice from 3-point range and also converted an alley-oop dunk as he was fouled. Later in the period, Denver hit four straight jumpers, including 19- and 25-footers by Nelson, the latter putting the Nuggets up 83-72.
Both teams were playing with patchwork lineups because of injuries to several starters or regulars. It only got worse for New Orleans when Davis went ou.
Nuggets: Darrell Arthur was a game-time scratch because of an illness. ... The Nuggets announced earlier Tuesday that F Wilson Chandler underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip. Chandler will miss the rest of the season. Denver also was without C Jusuf Nurkic (left knee) and C Joffrey Lauvergne (lower back).
Pelicans: C Omer Asik was a late scratch because of a stomach illness. So the 6-foot-8 Cunningham, who normally plays power forward, was inserted in the starting lineup. The Pelicans also were without G Tyreke Evans (right knee), F Quincy Pondexter (left knee), G Norris Cole (left ankle) and CKendrick Perkins. ... Jrue Holiday played 22 minutes (scoring 10 points), so he is not expected to play Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. With Holiday working his way back from a right shin injury that has caused him to miss much of the past two seasons, he is on playing-time restrictions and so far has not played this season in back-to-back games.