DENVER (AP) – Kemba Walker scored 27 points, Nicolas Batum had 21 points and eight assists, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Denver Nuggets 112-102 on Saturday night.
Marvin Williams had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who wrapped up a seven-game road trip with an impressive victory.
The Nuggets came out flat after two impressive road wins in the middle of the week. Nikola Jokic led them with 31 points and 14 rebounds, while Danilo Gallinari scored 22 points.
Charlotte took the lead for good with a 17-0 run late in the first quarter and then scored the first 10 points of the third to go up 71-52.
The Hornets led by as many as 20 in the third before Denver made a run to get it under 10 on Mason Plumlee’s three-point play with 7:13 left. Marco Belinelli answered with a corner 3-pointer – his only points of the game – to push the lead to 100-89.
Denver got within four with 4:33 left but Charlotte scored nine straight to go back up by 13 and closed it out at the line.
Hornets: Charlotte finished its longest road trip of the season at 3-4. … F Johnny O’Bryant had 15 points in 16 minutes against his former team. O’Bryant signed a 10-day contract with Charlotte on Feb. 24 after playing under two 10-day contracts with Denver.
Nuggets: F Kenneth Faried missed his fourth straight game with low back soreness. He first hurt it against Brooklyn on Feb. 24 and hasn’t played since. … G Emmanuel Mudiay was back to third string after playing 18 minutes in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
BIG LOSS IN THE MIDDLE
Charlotte 7-footer Frank Kaminsky is expected to miss several games with a sprained left shoulder. Kaminsky, who averaged 17.9 points a game since Feb. 1, was hurt in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s loss in Phoenix.
He will get an MRI done on the shoulder once the Hornets return home.
“Right now it’s day-to-day, depending how he progresses these next two days,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. “Typically, that injury would be 10 days to two weeks.”
Hornets: Host the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
Nuggets: Host the Sacramento Kings in a battle of playoff hopefuls on Monday night.
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