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Nuggets-Bobcats Preview

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While the Denver Nuggets have been dominant at Home, they're also more than holding their own on the road.

The surging Nuggets look for a fourth consecutive road victory while trying to match a season high with a fifth straight win overall when they face the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.

Denver (16-5) improved to 2-0 on its four-game road swing Monday by beating former teammate Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers 93-83. Chauncey Billups scored 31 points and Carmelo Anthony added 14 as the Nuggets used a 22-3 second-half run to beat the 76ers for their fourth straight victory and eighth in nine games.

The Nuggets have largely ridden a 9-1 home record to their current standing, one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the Western Conference. Denver, though, is 7-4 away from the Pepsi Center and averaging 107.7 points in its last three road games.

Denver, which opened 5-0, is trying to match its longest winning streak of the season.

Though the Nuggets shot 39.2 percent and failed to reach 100 points for the first time in nine games Monday, they held their third straight opponent to fewer than 100 and received a big night from Billups.

Acquired from Detroit in exchange for Iverson early last season, Billups was 8 of 15 from the field, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range.

"I was just being aggressive,'' said Billups, averaging 17.5 points on the season. "I knew Melo wasn't having a big night.''

Averaging an NBA-leading 29.6 points, Anthony failed to score at least 20 for the first time this season. He's averaging 27.7 points in 10 career games against Bobcats.

Anthony had 25 points and Billups 16 in the Nuggets' 88-80 win in their last visit to Charlotte on Nov. 11, 2008. Denver is seeking its fourth straight victory overall against the Bobcats (8-11).

After becoming the first team this season to lose to hapless New Jersey, 97-91 on Friday, Charlotte bounced back with a 106-105 home win over Philadelphia the following night.

Boris Diaw had a season-high 28 points, Gerald Wallace added 24 with 14 rebounds and Raymond Felton overcame bruised ribs to make a layup with 4.7 seconds left to help Charlotte rally from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and avoid a third straight loss.

"We're still not playing quite the right way,'' Diaw said.

While Wallace is averaging a team-leading 15.6 points and 12.2 boards, the Bobcats need Diaw to build off Saturday's effort. The 6-foot-8 forward is scoring 12.2 points per game on the season, but had averaged only 6.2 in his previous five.

He's averaging 10.0 points in 16 career games against the Nuggets.

It's uncertain if Felton's injury will keep him out of this contest. The veteran guard is averaging 18.0 points in his last four games.

"I love these guys on this team, so I'm going to do whatever it takes to come out and play,'' said Felton, who was hurt late in the loss to the Nets and nearly didn't play. "They look at me as their leader, so if I'm able to walk I'm out there.''

The Bobcats are 3-7 all-time against the Nuggets, including 2-3 at home.

Tagged: Nuggets, Hornets, Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, Boris Diaw, Raymond Felton

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