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Jefferson's 35 lifts Bobcats over Nuggets
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Al Jefferson had 35 points and 11 rebounds to help the Charlotte Bobcats take a 101-98 win over the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center.
Gerald Henderson added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Ramon Sessions scored 16 and dished out seven assists for the Bobcats, who snapped a two-game slide.
Randy Foye scored 33 points, Evan Fournier had 19 to go with six assists and Timofey Mozgov added 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Nuggets, who had won two straight entering the contest.
Denver guard Ty Lawson missed the game with a strained left rotator cuff that he suffered in Sunday's win over Sacramento.
Lawson's replacement, Nate Robinson, was injured in the first quarter after a fall under the basket. He limped off the court and did not return.
"It was hard playing without Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson because they push the ball so well and they do so much different things on the court," said Foye. "I just tried to mimic what those guys do on the court just being really aggressive by attacking the defense. I was picking my spots to score but we fouled too much. We need to not foul and move our feet better."
The teams entered the fourth quarter knotted up at 75-75. The Nuggets took an 87-82 lead, their largest of the game, after a Foye 3-pointer with 6:38 remaining. The Bobcats scored seven straight to go up 89-87 shortly after.
The teams traded makes from there until four straight free throws, two each from Jefferson and Sessions, put the Bobcats ahead 95-93.
Foye buried a stepback jumper at the other end with his foot on the 3-point line to knot things up. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist split a pair of free throws with 56.4 second remaining to put Charlotte up by one, and Jefferson followed with a fadeaway jumper from the elbow for a 98-95 lead with 23.1 ticks left.
Foye caught the inbounds pass on the ensuing possession, but his heel was on the opposite sideline, and Sessions split a pair of free throws for a four- point edge.
Darrell Arthur made things interesting with a 3-pointer from the corner with 10.7 seconds left. Henderson split a pair from the line, and after two missed shots on the other end from Denver, Jefferson knocked down 1-of-2 free ones with 1.7 seconds left.
Mozgov's desperation heave sailed out of bounds and the Bobcats hung on.
Charlotte opened the game on a 20-7 run and took a 32-21 edge into the second quarter. The Nuggets got back in it by outscoring Charlotte 31-21 in the second to make it 53-52 Bobcats at the break.
"One of the keys to the game was we got off to a good start. We struggled defensively in the second half with the high pick-and-roll defense. I thought in the last three or four minutes we played well defensively," said Bobcats coach Steve Clifford.
Neither side led by more than five in the third as they went into the final frame tied at 75-all.
Charlotte's Kemba Walker missed his fifth straight game with an ankle sprain ... Each Bobcats player that entered the game recorded at least three points ... The game featured 17 lead changes and eight ties ... Foye was 12-for-21 from the field.
01/30 01:19:21 ET
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