Nuggets-Bobcats Preview

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.