The Charlotte Hornets get a much needed win and end their three game losing streak with a win over the current #1 seed in the western conference, Denver Nuggets.
After being down 25-24 at the end of the first quarter, the Hornets bench took over and Charlotte never looked back. Led by veteran guard Tony Parker –who finished with 19 points– and Malik Monk who added 16 of his own, the Hornets bench scored a remarkable total of 59 points.
The bench has largely been a key strength this year for the team and came into this game fourth in the league in scoring. Monk’s contribution off the bench tonight was really great to see as he has been struggling as of late shooting the ball. He was a +21 on the night and added value not only on offense but on both ends of the floor.
Denver was persistent the entire night as they were able to claw back and pull the Hornets lead all the way down to just one point in the third quarter. However once the bench came back in, the Hornets were able to end the quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 87-79 lead over the Nuggets going into the 4th quarter.
Kemba Walker started to get it going in the fourth quarter opening his usual bag of tricks utilizing multiple moves from his arsenal of offensive weapons that we’ve come to love. A lot of his impact was from the line as well as he went 11 of 12. After Walker started to get hot, the Nuggets began to trap him off the pick and roll which stagnated the offense some. This allowed the Nuggets to cut the lead to three but Parker was inserted and he helped relieve some pressure off Kemba. He hit two clutch midrange jumpers and a free throw in order to finish the game off.
Walker finished the game with 21 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Marvin Williams was back tonight after missing a game and was crucial in the win as he dropped 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Hornets now improve to 12-13 and are back in the leading spot in the Southeast Division. They now will travel to play the New York Knicks on Sunday at 7:30pm.