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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nic Batum knew precisely what was coming when fellow Frenchman Tony Parker raced down the court docket with a head of steam on a quick break.
Parker stopped momentarily planting his proper foot, then spun 360 levels to keep away from a defender and scored on a layup on the opposite aspect of the rim.
The 36-year-old Parker proved once more he can nonetheless make some fairly slick performs and is a priceless asset down the stretch of tight video games, scoring 19 factors to assist the Charlotte Hornets snap the Denver Nuggets’ seven-game win streak with a 113-107 victory on Friday night time.
Kemba Walker had 21 factors and eight assists, Marvin Williams added 14 factors and 10 rebounds and the Hornets picked up their first win this season in opposition to a Western Convention opponent.
“I’ve seen that transfer so many occasions,” mentioned a grinning Batum, who additionally performed with Parker on the French nationwide crew. “I form of laughed when he did it. I informed him, ‘I’ve been ready for that transfer.’ They modified the rule in Europe due to that transfer. They now name it touring over there.”
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Coach James Borrego known as it “classic Parker.”
Parker, now in his 18th NBA season, made massive performs all through because the Hornets ended a three-game skid.
Charlotte constructed a 64-53 halftime lead behind Parker, who had 13 factors, three assists and a steal and supplied a jolt of vitality in a pivotal second quarter. And when the Nuggets rallied from 11 down with three minutes remaining and reduce the result in three with 1:13 left on a 3-pointer from Monte Morris, Parker drove the left aspect of the lane and hit an enormous step-back 17-foot jumper to make it a two-possession recreation.
“The larger the second the higher he’s,” Williams mentioned of Parker. “He’s a champion and he has expertise in these conditions and it’s nice to have a teammate like that.”
The Nuggets regarded to chop it again to a few on the subsequent possession, however Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had big block in opposition to the glass on Juancho Hernangomez with 24 seconds left. Walker hit three free throws within the last 14 seconds to place the sport away. Walker completed the sport 11 of 12 from the free throw line, offsetting a tricky 4-of-11 taking pictures night time.
“Tony Parker made some powerful photographs on me down the stretch,” Morris mentioned. “I imply I performed nice protection, received two good contests. I imply he’s a vet, 17 years within the recreation, in order that’s his go-to transfer.”
Denver got here within the with the most effective document within the Western Convention, however shot 39 % from the sector and 23 % from 3-point vary. The Hornets put the clamps on Nikola Jokic for a lot of the recreation, holding the 7-foot, 250-pound heart to 16 factors and 11 rebounds.
Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 20 factors.
Nuggets: Will Barton, Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr. and Isaiah Thomas didn’t play resulting from accidents. … Torrey Craig had a tough night time in his return to the Carolinas as the previous South Carolina Upstate star was held scoreless and fouled out.
Hornets: Carolina Panthers defensive finish Julius Peppers took within the recreation from courtside seats. A sure future NFL Corridor of Famer, Peppers as soon as performed basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels and stays an enormous basketball fan.
MILLSAP LEAVES WITH FOOT INJURY
Nuggets ahead Paul Millsap left the sport with a foot harm, leaving his standing for Saturday night time’s recreation at Atlanta up within the air.
“If Paul is unable to go tomorrow night time that’s a possibility for any individual else,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone mentioned. “And which means any individual else strikes into the lineup and any individual else has received a possibility off the bench.”
The Hornets bench outscored the Nuggets 59-40, as they received 16 factors from Mail Monk and 11 from Frank Kaminsky.
“They’ve been big for us all 12 months,” Williams mentioned. “I imply we wouldn’t be successful video games if we didn’t have these guys. So many occasions the starters could not have had it early or could not have had it late, they’ve come within the recreation and made performs. It’s been man after man.”
Nuggets: At Hawks on Saturday night time.
Hornets: At Knicks on Sunday night time.
Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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