Memphis (3-10) at Denver (8-4)
November 28, 2006 7:50pm CST
The Denver Nuggets have been successful at home recently, and always have been against the Memphis Grizzlies. Seeking its fifth straight win at the Pepsi Center, the surging Nuggets look to continue their home dominance of the Grizzlies when the teams meet Tuesday night. Denver (8-4) has won five in a row overall, with four of those wins coming at home. The Nuggets have bounced back after losing their first two games at the Pepsi Center. "We lost a couple games early, but our goal is to defend our home court to the best of our ability," Nuggets forward Joe Smith said. "We went on the road, got a little bit of unity on that road trip we had. Came back here and we've been rolling ever since." Denver will look to win six straight for the first time since Jan. 14-25, when it took seven in a row. The Nuggets also try for their 18th straight home win over Memphis (3-10), which hasn't won in Denver since a 100-87 victory on Nov. 18, 1997. The Grizzlies are the only NBA team never to win at the Pepsi Center, and are 2-20 all-time in Denver. They are 0-7 on the road this season, averaging just 88.4 points -- nearly 30 fewer than the Nuggets' average during their five-game win streak. Carmelo Anthony had 33 points and J.R. Smith added 23 to lead Denver to a 103-88 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. Playing one of its best all-around games of the season, the NBA's highest-scoring team shot 51 percent and had 27 assists to win for the eighth time in nine games since an 0-3 start. Denver is averaging 110.5 points per game this season. "We're definitely starting to come together," J.R. Smith said. "As a team, everybody's on the same page. Now we got to go back in the lab and get working on our defense. I love the flow of the offense, I love the team. Whenever I am open my teammates always seem to get me the ball. That's a great thing and they get it back when I get the ball. ... We're definitely confident." Anthony went over 30 points for the ninth time in 12 games. He entered this week as the league's leading scorer with 31.1 points per game. No Memphis player is averaging even half of Anthony's total, in part because star forward Pau Gasol remains sidelined with a broken foot. Chucky Atkins leads the team with 14.9 points per game. The Grizzlies have alternated wins and losses since their 1-8 start, but are coming off an 85-76 loss at Houston on Saturday night. Five Memphis players scored in double figures but none had more than Hakim Warrick's 12. The Grizzlies fell to 0-7 against Western Conference teams. "For us, we've got to play near perfect," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said. "For us to win on the road, we've got to play better for 48 minutes." Memphis had lost six in a row to Denver before winning the most recent meeting, 116-102 on March 17 behind Mike Miller's 41 points. Miller has averaged just 11.6 points on 39.6 percent shooting in his last five games overall.