The Charlotte Hornets had a rough night Monday, as the team came out slow on the second night of a road back-to-back. They fell to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center, 121-104, snapping a three-game win streak.
Denver got off to a hot start. They scored the game’s first seven points in the first 90 seconds, and hot shooting all night led the way. Denver shot 54 percent from beyond the arc as they rained 18 3-pointers on the night. Charlotte’s perimeter defense struggled, and as the game wore on they had trouble chasing Nuggets shooters off the line.
Denver dominated the early stages of the game, but a big first quarter from Dwight Howard kept the Hornets relevant early. Kemba Walker was the star of the second quarter for Charlotte. The point guard drained two 3-pointers in the second frame and had 10 points. The Hornets only trailed by one entering the half.
The Nuggets came firing out of the half and quickly stretched their lead to ten. It took the Hornets over three minutes to score their first points of the second half. Charlotte never recovered from the hole they dug themselves in to start the third, and could not pull the lead back into the single digits for the remainder of the game.
Howard finished the game with 19 points, 12 in the first quarter, and led the team with seven rebounds. He struggled dealing with the Nuggets Nikola Jokic defensively down the stretch, though. Kemba Walker led the team with 20 points while Nicolas Batum added 15 of his own. Treveon Graham and Jeremy Lamb added 11 and 14 off of the bench, respectively.
Gary Harris had a huge night for the Nuggets. He led all scorers with 27, including 5 three pointers. Jamal Murray and Will Barton added 18 each, and Jokic nearly had a triple-double with 15 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assists.
Charlotte is looking forward to another road back to back after a short break. They will be in Portland to face the Trail Blazers on Thursday, and then in Salt Lake City to face the Utah Jazz Friday night to close out a four game road trip.