CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Ticker) -- After two straight heartbreaking defeats, the Charlotte Bobcats were not about to let it happen again.

Kareem Rush scored 20 points and hit a huge 3-pointer late in the game as the Bobcats posted a 94-88 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

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Charlotte lost at New York on Sunday and to Portland on Monday on 3-pointers at the buzzer. In this one, Rush buried his jumper from deep in the right corner to push Charlotte's lead to 91-84 with one minute remaining.

"After the way we lost the last two games, it was great to win this one," Rush said. "It's great for my back to feel like it's 100 percent again. I have been playing with an injury for the last few weeks and it was good to come out and contribute."

"I think it's good for these guys," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "This basketball team deserves it. What's significant to me, with the two losses, as devastating as they were with the clock expiring on both of them, is that it did not diminish our efforts tonight."

The Bobcats were down one at the half but outscored the Nuggets, 33-19, in the third quarter to take a 82-69 lead into the final period.

Denver closed to 84-82 with 4:51 to play when Carmelo Anthony capped a 13-2 run with a three-point-play off a nice high-low feed from Kenyon Martin.

After Anthony was called for offensive interference, the Bobcats extended their lead to 88-82 on baskets by Gerald Wallace and Primoz Brezec. Earl Boykins hit a jumper at the 1:42 mark to make it 88-84 before Rush delivered his dagger from the arc.

"A win like this is good for us," Rush said. "Even though we won tonight, this could have easily been a three-game winning streak. Hopefully we can come back during the second half of the season and win some more games. We plan on stepping it up the second half on the season."

Rush scored 11 points as Charlotte opened the third period with a 16-5 run. Keith Bogans added nine of his 18 off the bench in the period.

"We allowed their guards to have special games," Denver coach George Karl said. "Defensively in the second half, we made Bogans and Rush look like Ray Allen and Michael Jordan. We dug a hole and fought back, we dug a hole and fought back again. Our guys seem to fight when they got down but I would like to see them fight with the lead."

"I just wanted to be aggressive and do whatever I could," said Charlotte guard Brevin Knight, who scored 11 points off the bench. "That's what Kareem did as well. Melvin (Ely) had a big first half and they really started to concentrate on him and that gave us the chance to hit the open shots."

"(Kareem) made some big shots," Bickerstaff said. "He gave us a margin and was moving with energy without the ball.

Ely scored 15 points and Brezec 10 and 14 boards for the Bobcats. The double-double for Brezec was his seventh in the last 12 contests.

"We've learned that we can stay in it with ballclubs and compete with anybody," Ely said. "That makes you feel good and we came in here tonight ready to play."

The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Bobcats.

"This was a really big win and much needed," Wallace said. "For us to play as hard as we did over the last two games and keep ourselves in the game against a very good Denver team says a lot about this team."

Anthony scored 21 points for Denver (24-29), which was 31-23 at the All-Star break last season. Martin scored 17 points and Boykins added 16 for the Nuggets, who fell to 7-4 under new coach George Karl.

"We came in and we were sluggish tonight," Anthony said. "We fought at the end, but we just didn't have it tonight. Fatigue was the biggest key. We felt like we were playing hard, but obviously we weren't. We really need this break right now."

"(Being tired) is a bunch of excuses," Karl said. "I don't buy it."