Game Preview: Nuggets-Pelicans

Denver wraps up season series against New Orleans at Pepsi Center
by Aaron Lopez

Despite being out of the playoff race, the Denver Nuggets still have something to play for over their final four home games.

The Nuggets are 19-18 at Pepsi Center and can secure their 11th straight winning season at home with two more victories at altitude. They can take another step toward that goal when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

“That’s definitely something that is a short-term goal to put out there,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “We want to give our fans here some hope and see some positive things happen for the remaining games we have here at home.”

Taking care of the ball will be among the priorities for Shaw and the Nuggets against the Pelicans. Denver committed a season-high 27 turnovers in a 111-107 overtime loss in New Orleans on March 9.

Pelicans All-Star forward Anthony Davis also posed a big problem for Denver in the last meeting. He scored a career-high 32 points and added 17 rebound and six blocked shots.

Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried will start out on Davis defensively, but Shaw also will employ 7-foot-1 center Timofey Mozgov at times on possession after a dead ball.

Shaw otherwise is sticking with the same starting lineup of Faried, Mozgov, Quincy Miller, Randy Foye and Ty Lawson.


WHEN: 7 p.m. MT
WHERE: Pepsi Center, Denver
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950

DENVER (32-42)

F Quincy Miller
F Kenneth Faried
C Timofey Mozgov
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

F Al-Farouq Aminu
F Anthony Davis
C Greg Stiemsma
G Tyreke Evans
G Brian Roberts

Wilson Chandler (groin), Danilo Gallinari (knee), J.J. Hickson (knee), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (knee) are out.
NEW ORLEANS: Ryan Anderson (herniated disc), Jrue Holiday (stress fracture, right tibia), Jason Smith (knee) and Eric Gordon (knee) are out.

New Orleans has played well in Denver in recent years, having gone 7-8 at Pepsi Center since the start of the 2005-06 season . . . The Nuggets went 0-1 against the Pelicans in Denver in 2010-11, marking the first time since 2005-06 that they failed to win a home game against New Orleans . . . The overall series has been very competitive over the last eight regular seasons (and all-time): 16-15 and 34-33 overall in favor of New Orleans . . . The Nuggets set an NBA postseason record for margin of victory on the road during the 2009 Playoffs against the Hornets, defeating New Orleans by 58 points (121-63) in Game 4 of the first round at New Orleans Arena on 4/27/09 . . . New Orleans is one of only two NBA franchises to have never had a player score 40+ points against the Nuggets (Indiana the other).