Nuggets battle Suns in the desert
(Sports Network) – The Denver Nuggets try to put the brakes on a two-game
losing streak, as they visit the Pacific Division-champion Phoenix Suns
tonight at US Airways Center.
Denver is No. 7 in the Western Conference playoff race and just 1 1/2 games
ahead of the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. Phoenix has already clinched
the Pacific and is the second seed, seven games behind the top-seeded and NBA-
best Dallas Mavericks for the top spot in the West.
The Nuggets begin a tough three-game road trip. On Wednesday, J.R. Smith’s
deep heave at the buzzer drew back iron, giving the Seattle SuperSonics a
100-97 victory over Denver at the Pepsi Center.
Carmelo Anthony poured in 28 points, Nene added 17 points and 13 boards and
Allen Iverson netted 14 and handed out eight assists for Denver, which has
dropped four of its last five games overall.
Denver is 16-17 on the road this season. The Nuggets are scheduled to visit
Seattle on Sunday at KeyArena and the Lakers on Tuesday at the Staples Center.
The Suns also try to get back on the winning track, as they open a short two-
game homestand. On Thursday, Jason Richardson scored a season-high 36 points
and buried a franchise-record eight shots from beyond the arc, as Golden State
held off a furious Phoenix comeback for a 124-119 victory at ORACLE Arena.
Leandro Barbosa had 27 points for the Suns, who have lost two of their last
three games overall. Boris Diaw added 18 points and Amare Stoudemire
contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, which nearly rallied from a
25-point deficit late in the third quarter.
Phoenix is an impressive 29-7 at home this season. The Suns will host Josh
Howard and the Mavericks on Sunday.
This is the third and final meeting of the season between the teams. The clubs
split the first two contests, as the squads split a pair at the Pepsi Center.
Denver has lost four straight after winning its last two at Phoenix.