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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 2nd (All times eastern)

Charlotte Bobcats (26-33) at Denver Nuggets (35-26), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Maybe it's the altitude in the Rocky Mountains that gives the Denver Nuggets a significant home advantage. Tonight they'll try to cut off the oxygen supply for the visiting Charlotte Bobcats at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets have won four in a row at home and are 25-7 as the host this season, currently the second-best home record in the Western Conference behind San Antonio's gaudy 28-2 mark in the Alamo City. Denver is 47-9 at home versus Eastern Conference opponents over the past four seasons and is coming off Monday's 100-90 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

J.R. Smith finished with a team-high 19 points off the bench and Kenyon Martin added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which has won four of five games and is fifth in the Western Conference standings.

"I thought our offense was really slow in the first half," Nuggets head coach George Karl said. "In the second half I thought we got better opportunities in the open court."

Danilo Gallinari did not play for Denver due to a broken bone in the big toe on his left foot and is expected to miss a few weeks of action. Guard Ty Lawson is questionable because of flu-like symptoms.

Meanwhile, Charlotte will resume a four-game road trip tonight and opened the trek in sour fashion, dropping a 100-86 decision in Orlando on Sunday. Dwight Howard powered his way to 20 points and 10 rebounds in that one.

Stephen Jackson finished with 35 points and six rebounds for the Bobcats, who entered the game having won two straight and four of five games. Boris Diaw and D.J. Augustin scored 11 points apiece in the loss.

"I don't think we executed that poorly," Bobcats coach Paul Silas said. "We couldn't make shots for one thing. Defensively, we didn't adhere to a lot of our principles. And when you're playing a really good team such as this and you don't adhere to your principles, you're going to get beat."

The Bobcats will also visit the Lakers and Blazers on the road swing, and are 10-19 as the guest this season. They are 17-14 under Silas after going 9-19 over the season's first 28 game with Larry Brown at the helm, and one game off the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Jackson has scored at least 30 points in each of his last two games and no player in Charlotte history has done it three times in a row. Jackson has netted 20-plus points in 12 of his previous 17 games, with five games of 30 points or more.

Charlotte defeated the Nuggets, 100-98, on Dec. 7 this season at Time Warner Cable Arena, but Denver is 8-4 in the previous 12 matchups. The Bobcats are winless in their past three visits to the Pepsi Center.

03/02 10:56:12 ET


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