Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker combine for 40 points as Hornets cruise to 110-82 win over Nuggets



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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Al Jefferson scored 22 points, Kemba Walker added 18 points and nine assists, and the Charlotte Hornets extended their winning streak to a season-high three games with a 110-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Rookie P.J. Hairston recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Jefferson and Walker combined to shoot 15 of 25 from the field and didn't play in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.

Charlotte improved to 3-0 since Gerald Henderson replaced the injured Lance Stephenson in the starting lineup. Stephenson, who has been the subject of trade rumors, is out at least one more game with a groin injury.

Ty Lawson had 18 points for Denver.

It was Jefferson's 15th 20-point game of the season and third in the last four. Walker barely missed his fifth 20-point game for the Hornets.

This one was never close.

The Hornets took control early, building a 58-40 lead at halftime behind 57 percent shooting from the field. Jefferson and Walker led the way, combining to go 12 of 16 from the field for 32 points before the break.

Denver simply had no answer in the low post for Jefferson, who used an array of old school moves to keep Denver centers Timofey Mozgov and Jusuf Nurkic guessing.

When Jefferson wasn't dominating on the low block and with mid-range jumpers, Walker, Hairston and Gary Neal were knocking down jumpers from the outside. Neal finished with 13 points and Tyler Zeller added 10.

With no scoring option to complement Lawson, the Nuggets never mounted a serious comeback attempt in the second half and the Hornets extended their lead to 27 by the end of the third quarter.

The Hornets emptied the bench midway through the fourth quarter up by 30 points.


TIP-INS

Nuggets: Mozgov suffered a laceration to his left eye during the first quarter and received four stitches. He returned to the game but only played 15 minutes.

Hornets: Jeffery Taylor saw his first action of the season following a 24-game suspension. Taylor was rusty, misfiring twice from the field and both shots from the free throw line.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: At Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

Hornets: At Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

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