Even without an injured Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets made it to a season-high seven consecutive wins last night, with a 104-93 final over the Charlotte Bobcats. Chauncey Billups led the way for Denver with 27 points, following up his announcement as Western Conference Player of the Week (via The Denver Post).

The Nuggets also missed complete efforts from Chris “Birdman” Andersen, who sprained his ankle during the game, and Kenyon Martin, who was ejected for arguing fouls in the first half. Disgruntled backup guard J.R. Smith played, despite speculation that his bad behavior over the weekend would earn him a suspension. Coach George Karl says Smith played with “focus and intensity” on Monday, but Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post asks whether Smith’s surly attitude could derail the team’s championship aspirations.

The Nuggets’ run has been boosted by bench players and reserves, including Arron Afflalo, who tied his career-high output with 24 points against Charlotte.

“Afflalo wants to be known as an all-around player, and his game is doing his talking,” writes Nate Timmons at Denver Stiffs.