Bobcats block Denver's bid

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2007

By Arnie Stapleton

Associated Press

DENVER — Gerald Wallace put a big hurt on Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson.

Wallace had 25 points, 13 rebounds and one very big block in the final minute as the Charlotte Bobcats handed the Denver Nuggets their third straight loss, 105-101 on Monday night.

Iverson (31 points) and Anthony (25) bounced back from a poor shooting night against New Jersey on Saturday night, when they were a combined 11-for-33. But they both got banged up against the Bobcats, with Iverson spraining his right ankle and Anthony spraining his left wrist.

Anthony said he’s sore but fine and will play Wednesday night at Portland. Iverson sounded a lot less confident in his status.

“The way I feel right now, I don’t know if I would miss a game,” Iverson said. “I just will have to get up and see how I feel tomorrow. Right now it’s just frustrating to be out there at the end hobbling like that.”

X-rays on Iverson’s puffy ankle were negative.

Charlotte capitalized on Denver’s disarray to win for just the eighth time in 24 road games.

“It was not a bad loss,” Denver coach George Karl insisted. “We played a very good team.”

That’s a point Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff has been preaching.

Ten of his team’s 16 wins have come against teams with winning records.

“I say we have a bad record, but we’re not a bad basketball team,” Bickerstaff said.

With the Bobcats ahead 102-101, Anthony came down with the ball that was bobbled around following a miss by Adam Morrison. Anthony darted for the other end only to get rejected by Wallace.

“I went for steal then but couldn’t reach it, so I kept going and blocked him,” Wallace said.

Raymond Felton sank two foul shots with 16 seconds left for a 104-101 lead. J.R. Smith’s off-balance 3-pointer was off-target with six seconds left, and Jeff McInnis sank one of two free throws to ice it.

“We play better against the elite teams in the league,” Charlotte sharpshooter Matt Carroll said. “We play fearless like we have nothing to lose.”

Emeka Okafor added 18 points, 10 boards and five blocks for Charlotte. Felton scored 16 points, and Morrison finished with 12.

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