The Charlotte Hornets fell to the Denver Nuggets on Monday, 113-109. They played a pretty solid game overall, recording 33 total assists and knocking down shots when they mattered most. Their two best young players in Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball put up 27 and 22 points respectively. However, they gave up a lot of second-chance points and easy ones in transition.

“I’ll say second chance points and transition,” Ball said when asked what killed the Hornets in the game. “They were just putting the ball up quick and getting And-1’s. That was big for them.”

The Nuggets did have an 11-rebound advantage over the Hornets (51-40), and they had 17 offensive rebounds in this one. Nikola Jokic was the driving force behind that effort after he tallied 19 rebounds of his own to go along with 26 points and 11 assists. The reigning MVP exploited any matchup he saw on Monday night. The Hornets’ game plan was to make his life hard, but it was to no avail.

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With that loss, the Hornets have fallen back down to the ninth spot in the East, just a spot behind the Brooklyn Nets. They have six games remaining in the regular season.

Time is of the essence, but they have been playing some of the best basketball of the season. They are 7-2 in their last nine and have been competing with some of the better teams in the league during that span. The Hornets are hungry and looked prepared to play some meaningful basketball here very soon. The playoffs are the only thing on their mind and they’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.