NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 12th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (40-40) at Denver Nuggets (52-28), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - With just two games left in the regular season the Denver Nuggets have plenty to play for. The Northwest Division crown and the second seed in the Western Conference playoff standings are still at stake as Denver gets ready to host Memphis tonight.
Historically, the Nuggets have owned the Grizz, winning nine of their last 10 in the series. Things have been even more lopsided in the Rockies where Memphis has lost five straight and 22 of 23.
The Nuggets are coming off a disastrous home loss to San Antonio on Saturday. Tim Duncan posted 18 points and 10 rebounds in that one, as the Spurs moved up a notch in the West standings with a 104-85 win over Denver.
Chauncey Billups scored 27, but the Nuggets lost on the night they got back forward Kenyon Martin. Carmelo Anthony had 19 points before being ejected midway through the fourth quarter for Denver, which is now tied with Utah atop the Northwest Division with two games remaining for each team. Denver shot just 39.2 percent and had a four-game winning streak broken.
Martin, who missed the previous 18 games with a left knee injury, had six points and 10 rebounds in 22 1/2 minutes of court time.
No. 2 seed Dallas won its last game at Sacramento on Saturday and is one game ahead of the Nuggets for second place in the conference. Denver must win its final two contests, tonight and Tuesday at Phoenix, and then get help to overtake the Mavs, who also have two games remaining.
"We got frustrated. There are a lot of equations that factored in to that," Martin said. "We have to keep our head up and be professional. Things happen, that is sports. Frustration creeps in many different ways."
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are coming off a blowout loss of their own to lowly Philadelphia on Saturday. Marreese Speights scored all 22 of his points in the second half in that one and the Sixers tied a franchise record by sinking 14 shots from beyond the arc in a 120-101 win over Memphis.
Mike Conley had 23 points for the Grizzlies, who lost for the seventh time in nine contests. Zach Randolph totaled 19 points and 10 rebounds.
"Those guys have a good transition team," Memphis forward Darrell Arthur said. "It was tough guarding them."
High-scoring guard O.J. Mayo suffered a mild left ankle sprain in the first quarter of the loss and is listed as day to day.
04/12 10:30:49 ET