NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 20th (All times eastern)
Denver Nuggets (19-8) at Memphis Grizzlies (11-15), 4 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Denver shoots for a ninth straight win over Memphis this afternoon when the Nuggets finish a quick two-game road trip against the Grizzlies.
The Northwest Division-leading Nuggets are coming off a disappointing loss in New Orleans on Friday after Chris Paul fell a rebound shy of a triple-double, ending with 30 points, 19 assists and nine boards to lead the Hornets to a 98-92 victory over Denver.
J.R. Smith had 25 points to pace the Nuggets, who played without injured All- Star guard Chauncey Billups. Carmelo Anthony shot 5-of-16 and finished 17 points, snapping his string of five games with at least 30. Nene had 15 points and 10 boards as the Nuggets had their three-game win streak broken.
"This was the first time a team has gone after him every time," Denver head coach George Karl said of Anthony. "They doubled him on every opportunity and I think a lot of that had to do with Chauncey not being on the court."
An MRI on Thursday confirmed Billups, who was injured during the second half of Wednesday�s 111-101 win over Houston, had a strain of his left adductor muscle and he is listed as day-to-day.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are coming off a rather impressive win over Indiana on Friday. Zach Randolph poured in a game-high 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in that one, as Memphis handled the Pacers, 107-94, at FedExForum.
O.J. Mayo added 20 points and dished out six assists for the Grizzlies, who had lost three of four coming in. Mike Conley made a career-high five three- pointers on his way to 19 points while dishing out eight assists. Rudy Gay had 18 points and four steals, while Marc Gasol finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for the victors.
The Nuggets are a gaudy 18-5 against Memphis since Anthony arrived on the scene in 2003-04 and the dynamic forward netted 42 points against the Grizzlies during a 133-123 shootout win on Nov. 1. The eight straight wins by Denver over Memphis is the franchise's longest active winning streak over any single opponent.
12/20 10:29:07 ET