Jefferson, Walker lead Bobcats past Nuggets 105-98

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm •  Published: March 10, 2014
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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.

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.

After Faried led a brief Denver comeback to cut Charlotte's lead to 51-45 at the half, Walker and Jefferson hit the first two baskets of the third quarter to push the Charlotte advantage back to 10 and the home team never trailed in the second half.

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.

"We hung in there and fought hard," Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. "It wasn't our best game. We made a lot of mistakes in the fourth quarter. But it's a good win and an important win for our team."

Clifford said Neal, who has now scored in double figures in six of the seven games he's played for the Bobcats, is providing the kind of instant offense that he had hoped for when Neal was acquired from the Bucks along with backup point guard Luke Ridnour.

"He played great," Clifford said. "Forget the 7-for-9 (field-goal shooting). He made two big plays out of the pick-and-roll when we were struggling. They blitzed Kemba and Gary Neal hit CDR (Chris Douglas-Roberts) for a big 3 and he started the ball movement on another pick-and-roll that led to a Kemba jumper. He's the one who kind of got our offense back on track."

NOTES: Clifford said 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.