Hornets, Nuggets cross paths in Denver

( - The start of a three-game road trip didn't go as planned for the Charlotte Hornets, so they'll get back to work Saturday against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.

The Hornets dropped a 95-86 decision to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday and had won nine of the previous 11 games. Gerald Henderson scored 18 points, Al Jefferson recorded 17 to go along with 16 rebounds and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist netted 14 points in defeat.

Brian Roberts, who is filling in at the point for Kemba Walker (knee surgery), registered eight points and six assists for Charlotte, which made 41 percent from the floor and was able to limit the Spurs to 14 points in the third quarter.

San Antonio scored 15 points off 12 Charlotte turnovers and had a 49-43 advantage in rebounds.

"They'll make you pay for every mistake that you make," said Jefferson.

Charlotte is 7-14 on the road and will close the trip Monday against the Washington Wizards. The Hornets have lost two straight on the road after posting four straight victories as the guest.

The Nuggets fell back into the loss column with Thursday's 99-69 setback to the Memphis Grizzlies in the finale of a three-game road trip (1-2).

Denver was in a hole early and trailed 26-11 after the first quarter. It was held to just 14 points in the third period and lost for the eighth time in the last nine tries. Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried both scored 10 points and Ty Lawson added nine to go along with six assists.

"I didn't feel like we came and competed from the very beginning of the game," Denver coach Brian Shaw said.

Memphis scored 21 points off 17 Denver turnovers and recorded a 57-47 rebounding advantage. The Nuggets struggled from the field, making 33.3 percent of their shots, and hit on just 2-of-26 3-pointers.

The Nuggets are back home briefly and have a 12-12 record at the Pepsi Center. They will play three straight on the road next week against Philadelphia, Boston and Detroit.

Denver was pounded by Charlotte on Dec. 22 and suffered a 110-82 loss. Lawson had 18 points to lead the visitors and Jefferson paced Charlotte with 22 points and seven assists. The Hornets have won three in a row against the Nuggets, who had won the previous four.

The Nuggets have prevailed in five of the last six at home in this series.