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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 9th (All times eastern)

Seattle SuperSonics (50-25) at Denver Nuggets (44-31), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A possible preview of a first-round matchup in the Western Conference playoffs takes place tonight, as the red-hot Denver Nuggets welcome the struggling Seattle SuperSonics to the Pepsi Center.

The Sonics will try once again to lock up the Northwest Division crown. Seattle is attempting to win its first division title since 1997-98, when it went 61-21 and won its third consecutive Pacific Division title. The Sonics have already posted 50 wins for just the 10th time in franchise history and first since the 1997-98 campaign.

Seattle, which is the third seed in the Western Conference, leads the second- place Nuggets by six games in the Northwest Division.

Denver is No. 7 in the West, as it trails the sixth-seeded Houston Rockets by just 1/2 game. The Nuggets own a one-game lead over No. 8 Memphis.

This is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the clubs. The Sonics defeated Denver on November 9th at the Pepsi Center and on December 22nd at home, while the Nuggets beat Seattle, 116-110, in overtime on January 18th at KeyArena.

The Sonics have won four of their last five at Denver.

The Nuggets start a four-game homestand tonight. They will also host the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Hornets and the Grizzlies on the current stand.

On Friday, Andre Miller scored 22 points and handed out a season-high 15 assists to lead streaking Denver to a 107-104 win over Minnesota at the Target Center. Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points and Kenyon Martin ended with 24 for the Nuggets, who have won six straight and 12 of their last 13 games overall.

Under the leadership of head coach George Karl, the Nuggets have compiled an unbelievable 27-6 record. Karl became the team's general on January 27th when he replaced interim head coach Michael Cooper.

Denver is an impressive 26-10 at home this season. The Nuggets have won seven in a row at the Pepsi Center and are 14-1 in front of their home crowd under the guidance of Karl.

The SuperSonics enter tonight's game on a three-game losing streak. On Friday, All-Star Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 42 points and dished out five assists as the Los Angeles Lakers routed Seattle, 117-94, at KeyArena.

Ray Allen paced Seattle with 30 points and Nick Collison added 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the SuperSonics, who have dropped five of their last seven games overall. Luke Ridnour and Damien Wilkins each had 12 points in the loss.

On the injury front, Seattle guard Antonio Daniels (knee) is questionable for tonight's game, while forward Rashard Lewis (foot) is doubtful. Lewis has missed six straight games with the injury.

Seattle is 25-12 as the visitor this season. The Sonics, who have lost three in a row on the road, will play four of their final seven games in the regular season away from home.

04/09 10:13:51 ET


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