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Nuggets send Bobcats to 15th straight loss

Updated at: 12/23/2012 1:06 AM
By DENNIS GEORGATOS

(AP) DENVER - Kosta Koufos scored a season-high 16 points, and Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala added 15 points apiece as the Denver Nuggets beat Charlotte 110-88 and sent the Bobcats to their 15th consecutive loss on Saturday night.

JaVale McGee added 14 points, and Danilo Gallinari had 12 for Denver, which won its sixth in a row at home since its only loss there _ 98-93 to Miami on Nov. 15.

Charlotte, playing the second of a back-to-back set on the road, was without injured guards Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon. Henderson sustained a bruised shin during the second half of a 115-100 loss at Golden State on Friday. Gordon missed a second consecutive game because of soreness in his right knee.

Ramon Sessions had 23 points to lead Charlotte. Byron Mullens added 16.

Denver lost guard Ty Lawson to a left Achilles strain during the second quarter. He was held out the rest of the game for precautionary reasons, the team said.

The Nuggets, who missed an NBA-record 22 3-point attempts in Thursday night’s 101-93 loss at Portland, missed their first six against the Bobcats. Jordan Hamilton finally found the range to give the Nuggets a 40-31 lead with 8:02 left in the second quarter.

That seemed to break the Nuggets’ long-distance cold spell, complementing a sizzling inside game that saw Denver earn 36 assists and score 78 points in the paint, both season highs.

After a driving layup by Sessions pulled the Bobcats to within 44-39, the Nuggets went on a 15-3 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by Danilo Gallinari and Andre Iguodala. That stretched Denver’s lead to 59-44 with 45.2 seconds left in the second quarter.

Gallinari hit another 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to put Denver in front 64-46, the Nuggets’ biggest lead to that point.

By the end of the third quarter, the Nuggets stretched their advantage to 88-65 following a tip shot by McGee, who finished with 14 points. Denver began substituting freely the rest of the way, and the undermanned Bobcats didn’t threaten.

NOTES: Charlotte hasn’t won since Nov. 24, a 108-106 victory at Washington in double overtime. ... Since the 2009-10 season, visiting NBA teams are 7-39 when playing the second of a back-to-back set in Denver. ... The Nuggets have scored at least 60 points in the paint eight times this season.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)