Charlotte Hornets

Second-quarter spree gives Charlotte Hornets an easy one over the Denver Nuggets

Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard, right, argues a call with referee Tony Brown while facing the Denver Nuggets at Spectrum Center Wednesday.
Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard, right, argues a call with referee Tony Brown while facing the Denver Nuggets at Spectrum Center Wednesday. AP

Offense was not the Charlotte Hornets’ friend until the second quarter Wednesday.

Good as the defense had been, scoring was a constant challenge in a 1-2 start. Then, the Hornets exploded for 35 points in the second quarter, building as much as a 27-point lead in a 110-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Spectrum Center.

The Hornets got 20 points off the bench from forward Frank Kaminsky. The Hornets shot 47 percent for the game. Meanwhile, the Nuggets (1-3) shot just 38 percent.

Hornets point guard Kemba Walker added 19 points and rookie Malik Monk scored 17. The Hornets next play Friday, at home against the Houston Rockets.

Three who mattered

Kaminsky: He scored 14 points in the first half, when the Hornets built a 23-point halftime lead. He made six of his first eight shots, and was 2-of-3 from 3-point range..

Howard: He entered this game second in the league in rebounding (behind the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan). He finished with 19 boards.

Monk: The rookie (11th overall pick) had his first NBA double-figure scoring game, after totaling 13 points in his first three games.


▪  None of the four Hornets who missed Monday’s loss in Milwaukee played Wednesday: Cody Zeller (knee bruise), Michael Carter-Williams (sore knees), Nic Batum (elbow) or Julyan Stone (hamstring).

▪  Coach Steve Clifford said Wednesday morning he thought Zeller, who bruised his right knee in the opener at Detroit, is likely the first of the four back. Zeller said the injury is no longer painful to walk on, but that’s not the same as contact in a game.

▪  Small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played for the first time in the regular season, after missing 12 days following the death of his grandmother in New Jersey. Kidd-Gilchrist started, but was on a minutes limit of about seven minutes per half.

▪  With Kidd-Gilchrist back, rookie Dwayne Bacon came off the bench Wednesday.

▪  Clifford said he thought it would be a while until Carter-Williams regains game-shape and gets more practice time with his new teammates to play in a game. With Carter-Williams and Stone out, rookie Malik Monk is the backup point guard. The Hornets also have former North Carolina guard Marcus Paige (on a two-way contract) active for games.

Worth mentioning

▪  Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari was at the game. He coached the Hornets’ Kidd-Gilchrist and rookie Malik Monk, as well as Denver Nuggets big man Trey Lyles.

▪  Hornets forward Treveon Graham suffered a quad contusion in the first half. He returned late in the third quarter.

▪  North Carolina coach Roy Williams, in town for ACC media day, sat courtside. Hornets Marvin Williams and Paige played for him.

Report cards

B+ OFFENSE: Shooting 13-of-30 from 3-point range makes offense easy.

A DEFENSE: The Nuggets are a dangerous group offensively, and they were well contained.

A COACHING: This team looked fresh and well-prepared after a day off from practice Tuesday.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

Hornets 110, Nuggets 93

DENVER (93)—Chandler 3-10 0-0 7, Millsap 3-9 1-2 8, Jokic 8-11 1-1 18, Murray 7-20 2-2 16, Harris 7-17 0-0 18, Barton 4-13 1-3 9, Lyles 0-1 0-0 0, Plumlee 3-6 2-5 8, Faried 0-0 0-0 0, Mudiay 0-8 2-2 2, Beasley 3-4 0-0 7. Totals 38-99 9-15 93.

CHARLOTTE (110)—Kidd-Gilchrist 1-6 0-0 2, Williams 4-6 0-0 9, Howard 4-7 7-11 15, Walker 4-9 9-9 19, Lamb 4-6 5-6 16, O’Bryant III 3-7 0-0 7, Mathiang 0-2 0-0 0, Kaminsky 9-15 0-0 20, Monk 7-14 0-0 17, Paige 0-2 0-0 0, Graham 0-2 0-0 0, Bacon 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 38-80 21-26 110.













3-Point Goals—Denver 8-31 (Harris 4-9, Jokic 1-1, Beasley 1-2, Chandler 1-4, Millsap 1-4, Mudiay 0-2, Barton 0-4, Murray 0-5), Charlotte 13-30 (Lamb 3-4, Monk 3-9, Walker 2-4, Kaminsky 2-5, Bacon 1-1, O’Bryant III 1-3, Williams 1-3, Kidd-Gilchrist 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Denver 52 (Jokic 12), Charlotte 51 (Howard 19). Assists—Denver 17 (Chandler 6), Charlotte 18 (Lamb 6). Total Fouls—Denver 23, Charlotte 16. A—14,253 (19,077).