Bobcats win seventh straight at home
Al Jefferson scored 26 points and Kemba Walker added 24 as the Charlotte Bobcats won their seventh straight game at home, defeating the Denver Nuggets 105-98 on Monday night.
Jefferson made 10 of his first 14 field-goal attempts and also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Walker added seven assists for the Bobcats, who also received a big boost from Gary Neal off the bench. Neal made his first six field-goal tries, including three 3-pointers, and ended up with 19 points.
Josh McRoberts added 15 points for Charlotte, including a key 3-pointer with 6:15 left at the shot-clock buzzer to extend Charlotte's lead to 90-82 after Denver had cut it to five at 87-82.
Ty Lawson scored 24 points to lead the Nuggets. Denver also got 15 points from Kenneth Faried, 16 from Aaron Brooks, and 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds from J.J. Hickson.
Jefferson got to work quickly, scoring 11 of Charlotte's first 20 points. He had 12 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter, after which Charlotte led 25-22. But the Bobcats pushed the lead to as many as 12 in the second quarter with Jefferson resting on the bench, as Neal scored nine points.
Faried led a brief comeback by Denver as his inside basket off an inbounds play with 2.5 seconds left in the half cut Charlotte's lead to 51-45. But Walker and Jefferson hit the first two baskets of the third quarter, however, to push Charlotte's advantage back to 10 and the home team never trailed.
Denver did pull to within 101-96 in the final minute, but Walker, who made all 12 of his free-throw attempts on the night, hit a pair with 55.6 seconds left and then Jefferson hit a jumper after a defensive stop to seal the Bobcats' victory.
NOTES: Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said shooting guard Gerald Henderson, who missed Monday's game and has been out a week with a strained right calf muscle, might attempt running during Tuesday's practice. He hopes Henderson will be available to resume playing in games soon. Clifford said that likely won't occur until next week, however. . The Bobcats have 18 home wins, three more than all of last year.