It was over, garbage time, time for the no-names to check in — when one realized the no-names were already in.
The rebuilding Hornets, without their two top players, ended the Nuggets' 15-game win streak abruptly and abrasively, 110-86 on Monday, with guys such as Brian Roberts and Darius Miller having huge nights.
Denver was disheartening. By halftime, Denver trailed 59-38 — the 21-point halftime deficit was the Nuggets' largest of the season.
"There wasn't a fundamental that we did better than they did," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "When you shoot poorly, and turn it over, it creates tempo for any team. In the first half, we shot poorly and turned it over an obnoxious amount of times (10). So we didn't have any pace. And they had a lot of pace."
Folks are learning as much about Ty Lawson's importance when he's not playing as when he is. After a scorching couple of months, the point guard missed his third consecutive game with a heel bruise. In the previous two, Denver barely beat two lottery teams. And then the first half in New Orleans was atrociously abysmal (abysmally atrocious?). Fill-in starting point guard Andre Miller was minus-28, seldom getting Denver into a rhythm.
It's been six days since Lawson injured the heel at Oklahoma City. Karl said Monday that it looked "tender." Lawson will get treatment and go through a light workout in San Antonio on Tuesday, as he aims for the big matchup against the Spurs on Wednesday.