Menu

BASKETBALL

Reeling Nuggets happy to see lowly Bobcats

The Denver Nuggets are still jockeying for position in the Western Conference playoff race and look to get on track tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats in the continuation of a seven-game road trip.

The Nuggets are 1-3 so far on the trek and dropped to 12-12 away from the Rocky Mountains with Wednesday's 105-96 setback at Toronto in which Ty Lawson scored 26 points and handed out nine assists. Arron Afflalo netted 15 points and Wilson Chandler added 13 points and eight rebounds for Denver, which is even with Utah and Houston for the seventh and eighth seeds in the West.

Denver struggled down the stretch and Raptors center Andrea Bargnani was too much with 26 points.

"Honestly I don't know," said Afflalo when asked about Denver's drought late in the fourth. "Bargnani hit a couple of shots down the stretch, we missed a couple of shots. They were fortunate to hit some threes and we missed some layups that would have helped us down the stretch."

The Nuggets had won nine straight against Toronto, dating back to 2004-05. They will also visit the Magic and Hornets on the trek.

Charlotte, meanwhile, hopes to put the brakes on a five-game losing streak when it closes out a three-game homestand tonight. It fell to 0-2 on the residency and lost at home for the fourth straight time following an 88-83 setback versus Minnesota on Wednesday.

Wolves All-Star Kevin Love pumped in 40 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, while the Bobcats were led by Corey Maggette's 22 points. Bobcats rookie Kemba Walker scored 20 points as a reserve. Maggette has scored in double figures in 20 of his last 22 games, averaging 16.7 points in that span.

"We just didn't execute properly [down the stretch] and our defense wasn't really that good," said Charlotte head coach Paul Silas.

After the Bobcats host the Nuggets they will embark on a four-game road trip against Detroit, Toronto, Atlanta and Milwaukee. In injury news for Charlotte, guard D.J. Augustin (knee) and center DeSagana Diop (hamstring/knee) are both questionable for Friday and forward Tyrus Thomas (elbow) is doubtful.

Charlotte and Denver are meeting for the first time since splitting a home- and-home set a year ago with each team prevailing as the host. The Nuggets have won nine of the past 13 matchups in this series.