NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 13th (All times eastern)
Denver Nuggets (44-21) at Memphis Grizzlies (35-31), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets continue their push to the postseason without head coach George Karl tonight against a desperate Memphis Grizzlies team.
The Nuggets played without Karl, who is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy to combat throat and neck cancer, for the second straight game last night, a 102-95 win in New Orleans.
Karl will also miss the remaining two games of the team's current road trip as he continues his treatment. The Nuggets said Karl is still adjusting to the feeding tube that was inserted into his stomach during a surgical procedure on Monday.
"I have tremendous trust in [interim coach Adrian Dantley] and my staff," Karl said on Friday. "I think they'll keep the team in a good place over the next few days, and hopefully I'll be ready to rejoin them when they come home next week."
The Nuggets' next home game is Tuesday, March 16 against Washington.
Denver has won five in row but sits just two game ahead of Utah in the Northwest Division and one-half game behind Dallas for the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.
Carmelo Anthony put up 32 points to go with 12 rebounds last night, as the Nuggets pulled away late for a 102-95 win over New Orleans.
Chauncey Billups added 21 points while Nene had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Johan Petro, replacing the injured Kenyon Martin in the lineup, chipped in 10 and 10 to help the visitors win a game that featured 19 lead changes and 21 ties.
"We did come through in the second half, did what we had to do," said Dantley. "But we can play better basketball, we have to play better basketball."
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, remained four games behind Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West after a 119-112 home win over New York last night. Ex-Knick Zach Randolph had 24 points and 11 rebounds in that one.
O.J. Mayo had 22 points and Rudy Gay provided 20 for Memphis, which led by as many as 29 before the Knicks got within single digits in the final minutes. But the Grizzlies held on to get their second straight win at home following an eight-game losing streak at FedExForum.
Mike Conley added 18 points, six assists and five boards for Memphis, which has won three in a row overall.
"We'll take an ugly win over a good loss any day, or a bad loss any day," Mayo said. "Some people, 'Oh, we played LA close.' Some people get excited about that. Ugly win [will] beat that any time."
The Grizzlies snapped an eight-game series skid to Denver with a 102-96 win in Memphis back in December.
03/13 10:31:52 ET