Bobcats-Nuggets Preview

The Associated Press

Denver Nuggets coach George Karl knows the Charlotte Bobcats will end their long losing streak at some point. He just hopes it doesn't happen against his club.

Coming off an awful shooting performance, Denver looks to bounce back by sending visiting Charlotte to its 15th consecutive loss Saturday night.

The Nuggets (14-13) had their three-game winning streak end with Thursday's 101-93 loss to Portland. They also broke a short-lived NBA record for futility by missing all 22 of their 3-point attempts.

The Trail Blazers held the previous mark for most 3-point attempts without a make after going 0 for 20 on Dec. 10.

"The rhythm of the game was not in our favor, and our guys seemed to be worn out a little bit,'' Karl said. "If you make two 3s it's a different basketball game - a totally different game. It's not time to panic or anything. We just didn't have enough shooters out there.''

Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer scored 13 points each for Denver, which shot 50.0 percent from inside the arc, though, and nearly made a comeback from an 18-point deficit.

"We had a chance even though we shot terrible,'' Brewer said. "It shows that we can still win when we shoot bad, but we have to shoot better.''

Charlotte can't afford any more bad shooting nights as it's mired in another dismal losing streak. It shot 36.7 percent while falling 115-100 at Golden State on Friday and has dropped the first three on a four-game road trip.

Since the Bobcats (7-19) matched last season's win total with a 108-106 double-overtime win at Washington on Nov. 24, they've allowed 109.3 points per contest - the worst average in the NBA.

Still, Karl isn't taking Charlotte lightly.

"It always makes me nervous," Karl told the team's official website. "They're going to be beat somebody. They could've and should've beaten the Lakers (101-100 loss Tuesday). They played the Knicks in a close game (100-98 defeat Dec. 5). They're spiraling in a negative way, but they'll find a way to break it.

"Hopefully it's just not against us."

The Nuggets have won six of the seven all-time home meetings against the Bobcats, who got a season-high 23 points from Gerald Henderson and 12 points and a season-best 14 rebounds from Bismack Biyombo on Friday.

Kemba Walker scored 16 points but missed 11 of 17 shots.

"I thought we just kind of went cold,'' Walker said.

Charlotte has three losing streaks of 14 or more games over the last two seasons.

"We played hard but when you get down to execution ... there's a two-point disparity and the next thing you know it's eight,'' coach Mike Dunlap said.

Karl believes Dunlap is the right coach for the Bobcats despite the rough start to his tenure.

"The mental toughness of Mike Dunlap will keep him on point with what he has to do," Karl said. "Wins and losses are what we judge people by, but his team's getting better and playing at a better level."

Brewer's 17 points off the bench helped Denver overcome a game-high 21 from Henderson in a 99-88 victory in the most recent meeting March 30.

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