Parker boosts Hornets past Nuggets down the stretch
Tony Parker has said for weeks he’s tired of the Charlotte Hornets losing close ones. Friday night, he was big in changing that pattern.
Parker came off the bench to score 19 points, pushing the Hornets to a 113-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Spectrum Center. This came on a night when starting point guard Kemba Walker struggled with his shot, making 4-of-11 from the field.
The Nuggets entered this game with the best record in the Western Conference at 17-7. The Hornets (12-13) broke a three-game losing streak, their longest of the season.
Nuggets guard Monte Morris hit a pull-up 3-pointer with 1 minute, 13 seconds left to cut the Hornets lead to three, after Hornets center Cody Zeller’s left-handed layup attempt fell off the rim.
Parker responded with a 10-foot pull-up to push the lead back to five with just under a minute remaining.
Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made a big block from behind Nuggets forward Juan Hernangomez’s shot at the rim late.
Walker finished with 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Nuggets guard Jamal Murray scored 20.
3 WHO MATTERED Marvin Williams:
That he even played, considering Sunday’s injury (shoulder), was remarkable. Juan Hernangomez: He had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Hornets reserve guard (16 points) seems to be breaking out of a shooting
The Hornets got a surprising boost Friday when Williams was cleared to play following Sunday’s right shoulder strain. The Hornets projected Monday that Williams would miss at least a week with the injury, but his recovery was rapid.
Nuggets coach Mike Malone said pre-game he’s been so impressed with Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb that he could be in the discussion for Most Improved Player.
Williams showed quickly his shoulder wasn’t disrupting his shot, hitting two 3s in the first half.
reached doublefigures scoring for the second consecutive game, after reaching 10 points Wednesday in Minneapolis. In his previous four games, Monk totaled 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting from the field.
Parker looked 26, rather than 36, on a spinning drive to the rim in the first half.
The Hornets went into Friday having been charged with nine technical fouls this season to opponents’ four. Walker has the most with three. That’s a lot less than last season, when now-departed center Dwight Howard was among the NBA leaders in techs.
Center Bismack Biyombo was the Hornets’ inactive player Friday.
Hornets forward Nic Batum had foul trouble almost from the start of this game.
THEY SAID IT
“I’m really surprised. It looked like it could have been a really severe injury when you watched the play. It looked like it could have really gone South.” – Hornets coach James Borrego on Williams’ surprisingly quick recovery.
“I told Kemba I couldn’t