CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 42 points and the Denver Nuggets handed the Charlotte Bobcats their eighth straight defeat, 101-85 on Tuesday night.

With Michael Jordan in attendance, Anthony had his second 40-point game in less than a week. He also reached that mark in a victory over Miami on Friday.

Emeka Okafor had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who haven’t won since Nov. 26 against Washington.

The Bobcats were without starting forward Gerald Wallace, who was inactive with a sprained right index finger. Wallace is second in scoring for Charlotte, averaging 14.6 points per game.

Without Wallace, the Bobcats made a game of it. Charlotte came back from a 10-point third quarter deficit with a 12-0 run, taking a 74-72 lead into the fourth quarter after playing from behind through most of the game.

But the Nuggets rallied, building the lead to double digits again when Anthony hit a pair of free throws with 4:57 to go to make it 92-82.

Anthony had 24 points in the first half on 9-for-13 shooting from the field as Denver took a 49-44 lead.

NOTES: Nuggets reserve guard Earl Boykins saw his streak of 253 consecutive games played end when he was inactive against the Bobcats with a strained left hamstring. Boykins’ streak was sixth among current NBA players. He was hurt during practice on Monday. Boykins averages 12 points and 4.3 assists per game. Boykins hadn’t missed a game since the 2002-3 season. … Denver forward Kenyon Martin, who missed the last two games with left knee tendinitis, was back in the starting lineup at Charlotte. … Denver coach George Karl said the team plans to assign guard Julius Hodge, a first-round draft pick, to the National Basketball Development League. Hodge has played in just two games so far this season.

AP-ES-12-13-05 2203EST

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