Nuggets dismantle Bobcats to win 4 of 5 since Carmelo Anthony trade

DENVER -- The Denver Nuggets lost their star power when they traded away Carmelo Anthony. They still have plenty of scoring punch, though, and it's coming from just about every angle.

Wilson Chandler had 16 points to lead seven Denver players scoring in double figures and the Nuggets beat the Charlotte Bobcats 120-80 on Wednesday night for their biggest win of the season.

Nene, Chris Andersen, Ty Lawson and J.R. Smith had 14 points apiece for the Nuggets, who won for the fourth time in five games since completing the blockbuster trade that sent Anthony to the New York Knicks.

"I know the other team doesn't know how we're going to score because I don't know how we're going to score. But we do score. Nice problem," Nuggets coach George Karl said.

Charlotte's Stephen Jackson said it is evident that the Nuggets dealing of Anthony has changed the personality of the team.

"They're playing more open," Jackson said. "I think they have four or five guys on the court that are aggressive instead of waiting for 'Melo to shoot all the balls. They're playing with two point guards, so they're making plays and everybody is getting shots. They're not depending on one guy to score."

The 40-point margin of victory surpassed Denver's previous high this season, a 34-point win against on Phoenix on Jan. 11. Lawson also had 10 of the Nuggets' 34 assists for his first career double double.

"Were playing together and we're winning right now," Lawson said. "That's fun for everybody. There's no sticky hands out there. We're passing the ball, getting everybody involved. It feels a lot better when everybody is happy. The bigs are happy. The wings are happy. Everybody is touching the ball, and that's the way basketball should be played."

Matt Carroll led Charlotte with 19 points. D.J. Augustin added 13 points and Shaun Livingston had 12.

Arron Afflalo, the only Nugget to play in all 62 games, rolled his ankle driving to the basket in the first quarter but returned. With a little more than five minutes to go in the third quarter, Afflalo was fouled hard when Gerald Henderson barreled into him on another drive to the basket.

Karl had seen enough by then, and with the game well in hand, had Afflalo take the rest of the night off.

Trailing by 16 at the half, the Bobcats scored eight of the first 10 points in the third quarter, starting with a 20-foot jumper by Jackson, to cut the deficit to 64-54.

But the Nuggets answered with an 8-2 run, including successive dunks by Nene and Chandler to build their lead back to 72-56 with 6:56 left in the third quarter. When Andersen closed out Denver's third quarter scoring on a dunk off a pass from Smith, the Nuggets had built their lead to 91-67 going into the fourth quarter.

Charlotte was outscored 29-13 in the final period.

The Nuggets set the tone for the game early, leading by 18 points in the second quarter and going in front 62-46 at halftime. Chandler and Andersen each had 10 points in the first half.

Game notes
Bobcats GM Rod Higgins said they plan to re-sign F Dominic McGuire and will sign G Garrett Temple of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract. C Sean Marks will be waived to make room on the 15-man roster. McGuire was let go last week after the Bobcats' two trades left them with 18 players. ... C Timofey Mozgov played the final 1:53 of the second quarter in his first action as a Nugget since being included in the three-team, 13-player trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York. Kosta Koufos, who also came to Denver in the trade, made his first appearance as a Nugget late in the fourth. ... Chandler has scored at least 10 points in each of his four games as a Nugget. ... Charlotte's Stephen Jackson was held to seven points after scoring at least 30 in his previous two games.