CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Sports Xchange) – Kemba Walker scored 31 points as the Charlotte Hornets rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Denver Nuggets 122-114 on Friday night at the Spectrum Center.
Walker scored nine straight points in a 15-0 run as the Hornets fought back from a 12-point deficit. Walker hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter, then the Hornets scored the first 12 points of the fourth to take the lead for good.
Charlotte outscored Denver 36-20 in the fourth quarter.
Frank Kaminsky added 22 points with five 3-pointers, including three in the final quarter. Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum each scored 13 points and Marco Belinelli and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 11 apiece.
The Hornets were 17 of 36 from 3-point range, hitting seven in the fourth quarter, and they were 25 of 30 from the free throw line to Denver’s 8 of 11.
The Hornets (35-41) have won two straight and six of their last eight to keep their slim hopes alive for an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Nuggets (35-40) have lost three straight and five of their last seven to trail Portland by two full games in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Gary Harris scored 20 points, Danilo Gallinari had 19, Kenneth Faried added 18 and 13 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson recorded 12 points and nine assists.
Nelson suffered a calf injury with 3:27 left in the third quarter and did not return.
NOTES: The Hornets won the only previous game this season, 112-102 in Denver on March 4. … The Nuggets were without G Will Barton (foot). … The Hornets were without F Johnny O’Bryant (ankle) and G Ramon Sessions (knee). … It was a rare game involving brothers, Hornets C Miles Plumlee and Nuggets C Mason Plumlee. … G Kemba Walker scored 31 points to give him 8,030 points in his Hornets’ career, making him only the second player in franchise history to surpass 8,000. The all-time leader is Dell Curry with 9,839. … Nuggets C Roy Hibbert played 42 games for the Hornets earlier this season, before being traded twice. … The Nuggets were playing the second game of a five-game road trip. They will play at Miami on Sunday. … The Hornets will play at Oklahoma City on Sunday.