Game Preview: Nuggets at Knicks

Denver goes for three in a row as road trip starts in New York
by Aaron Lopez

Instead of viewing a four-game trip leading into the All-Star break as a roadblock, the Denver Nuggets see it as an opportunity.

“This is where we can come together and get right back in the playoff race,” point guard Ty Lawson said. “It’s all on us. If we play hard, we’ll win. If we don’t, it will be a sad road trip.”

The Nuggets (24-23) are 10th in the Western Conference – 3½ games out of the playoff picture – as they open their trip Friday night against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Altitude, 5:30 MT).

The Knicks (19-30) are one of three sub-.500 teams Denver will play during a swing that also includes Detroit (19-29), Indiana (38-10) and Minnesota (24-25).

Though they haven’t been as dominant at home as they were last season, the Nuggets have been respectable on the road, going 10-12. They have won four of their past seven away from Pepsi Center.

“I think we get after it more on the road because we know what we have to do,” forward Kenneth Faried said. “You’ve got to have road toughness and be road warriors. You can’t back away from a challenge. We have to put the crowd out of it early.”

The Nuggets are facing the Knicks for the fifth time since their blockbuster trade on Feb. 22, 2011, with Denver going 3-1 in the first four meetings.

As part of the deal, Denver also acquired New York’s first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, so a victory could prove beneficial in June.

For now, the Nuggets are simply focused on extending their win streak to three games and continuing to build momentum in their playoff chase.


WHEN: 5:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Madison Square Garden, New York.
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

DENVER (24-23)

F Wilson Chandler
F Kenneth Faried
C J.J. Hickson
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

NEW YORK (19-30)
F Carmelo Anthony
F Iman Shumpert
C Tyson Chandler
G Pablo Prigioni
G Raymond Felton

Lawson (left rotator cuff strain) is probable; Danilo Gallinari (knee) and JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (strained knee ligament) are out.
NEW YORK: Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and Kenyon Martin (ankle) are out.

Denver has gone 4-4 in the last eight games against the Knicks in New York, dating back to 2005-06 . . . The Nuggets have won eight of the last 11 overall games against the Knicks . . . New York and Denver have split 30 games since the start of the 1996-97 season . . . Denver swept the series in 2011-12 year, but has split the series 1-1 four times in the last six years . . . Former Nugget forward Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 50 points vs. New York on 11/27/09, becoming the first Nuggets player ever to score 50+ points against the Knicks franchise . . . In that same game on 11/27/09, former Nuggets forward Al Harrington registered 41 points as a member of the Knickerbockers to become the first New York player to ever score 40+ points against the Nuggets franchise.