HIGHLIGHTS: Despite Jokic’s triple-double, Nuggets drop third in a row

The slim hope the Denver Nuggets had for reclaiming the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference is growing narrower by the day. Denver dropped its third consecutive contest, 122-114 to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night, to fall two games plus the tiebreaker behind Portland in the West.

Nikola Jokic recorded his sixth triple-double of the year (26, 13 ,10) and all five Nuggets starters scored in double-figures in the loss. Gary Harris had 20 points in a game-high 41 minutes. The Nuggets led by as many as eight points in the first half before a Hornets run leveled things at 56 at the half.

Denver came out strong in the second half, taking an eight-point lead into the game’s final quarter, but their offense betrayed them down the stretch. The Nuggets scored just 20 points and committed six turnovers in the fourth quarter. Charlotte turned it into a block party in the fourth quarter; the Hornets denied the Nuggets on seven occasions in the fourth, including three by Marvin Williams. Kemba Walker had 31 points for Charlotte in the win.

Denver has Saturday off before the middle game of its five-game road trip. The Nuggets are in Miami to take on the Heat on Sunday.

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