Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris grabbed in an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left to preserve his team’s possession and maintain the lead for a 101-93 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Nic Batum trimmed what had been a 22-point deficit to seven with 4 1/2 minutes left on a corner 2-pointer and a 3-pointer off an assist from Kemba Walker.
The Hornets caught a break in the fourth quarter when Nuggets center Nikola Jokic fouled out. He finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Hornets fell to 39-30, while the Nuggets improved to 29-41.
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Three who mattered
Batum: He flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Jokic: The Nuggets center had a double-double and effectively guarded the rim until fouling out.
D.J. Augustin: He sure does relish playing against his first NBA team. He finished with 24 points.
▪ The Hornets got back reserve center Spencer Hawes, who had missed the previous 15 games with a sore lower back.
▪ Cody Zeller, who missed the second half in Miami Thursday with a left knee bruise, was able to play and start Saturday.
▪ The Nuggets sat star forward Kenneth Faried, who has a sore back.
▪ Monday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, one of just four home games remaining, will be on NBA TV.
▪ Zeller drew huge applause in the first half after blocking three shots in one Nuggets possession. He had a career-best five blocks.
This was the Hornets’ 12th home sellout this season.
▪ Davidson coach Bob McKillop attended Saturday’s game.
▪ The Hornets made only three of 12 3-point attempts in the first half.
▪ Saturday’s 6 p.m. tip-off was at the NBA’s request to accommodate an international broadcast of the game.
They said it
“I didn’t know we were going to win (in Miami), but I knew we were going to fight for the win. But tonight we didn’t have that.” – Clifford.
“We just had bad energy. We didn’t play a consistent game at all.” – Walker.
“Man I don’t care about that. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. That doesn’t bother me at all.” – Augustin on being booed.
C- OFFENSE: Far too much settling for guarded jump shots.
C DEFENSE: They gave up a lot of points in the lane.
C COACHING: Losing at home to a sub-.500 team negated the momentum of winning in Miami Thursday.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell