Nuggets’ Balanced Attack Stops Bobcats
Denver 100, Charlotte 84
DENVER, Feb. 21 (Ticker) -- The Denver Nuggets carried their struggles from just before the All-Star break into the first half. Carmelo Anthony made sure that the second half didn't turn out that way as well.
Anthony scored 10 of his 24 points in the third quarter to lead six players in double figures as the Nuggets overcame an early deficit en route to a 100-84 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Things got worse for the Nuggets as the league-worst Bobcats (14-41) went on a 19-9 surge to take a 57-45 bulge into the break.
"I thought we played well together," said Bobcats center Jake Voskuhl, who scored 11 points. "We shared the ball, we rebounded, defended, got some steals and turned those steals into points."
The Bobcats took a 61-48 advantage with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. But the Nuggets responded with a 20-6 run over the next 6 1/2 minutes.
"We weren't concerned at all," Anthony said. "We made our run, they made their run. In the second half, I just take my hat off to our defense. We held them to 27 points in the second half."
"The beginning of the third quarter was atrocious and most of our errors were unforced," said Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff, whose team shot just 27 percent (10-of-33) over the final two periods. "We had an inability to sustain anything and we also missed our shots."
Marcus Camby, who scored six points during the burst, gave Denver the lead for good shortly thereafter with a jumper that made it 71-69.
"We had a really good second half, we moved the ball pretty well and were sharing the ball tonight," said Nuggets guard Andre Miller, who had 15 assists. "We did our job and came out and won, that's what really matters."
"In the second half we picked it up on the defensive end," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "At the half, I told the team it was a must-win game, because I think the team felt a sense of urgency. I want to be a defense-first team as we finish up the season."
The Nuggets cruised in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Bobcats, 25-11.
"I think we just came together seeing we were down," Anthony said. "We couldn't lose our first game after the break so we had to focus in and we did a good job of that."
Camby collected 14 points and 12 rebounds, but nearly cost Denver one of its key reserves. Camby went in for dunk late in the contest and collided with Greg Buckner, who scored 19 points.
Buckner's right knee bent awkwardly and he remained on the ground for several minutes, although he made it off the court with limited help. He was diagnosed with a hyperextended right knee and is listed as day-to-day.
"I'm not missing any time," Buckner said. "I thought it was worse and it felt worse and everybody is telling me it looked worse but I'm cool."
Charlotte rookie Raymond Felton, who was injured in a car accident Sunday, played 35 minutes and collected 14 points and 11 assists.
"I'm straight. I took a hard lick in the first half and it was kind of sore for a little bit but I'm straight," Felton said. "I had a good vibe about it in practice the other day so I was pretty sure I'd be all right."