Jazz vs. Nuggets Preview

Jazz vs. Nuggets Preview

Associated Press

While Denver hasn't been kind to visitors in years past, the Nuggets haven't won at Pepsi Center in over six weeks.

The Nuggets try to snap their longest home losing streak in 17 years Friday night against the Utah Jazz.

Denver has gone an NBA-worst 2-17 since Jan. 16, including 0-8 at home while allowing an average of 110.9 points. The Nuggets, who haven't won on their own court since beating Dallas 114-107 on Jan. 14, are mired in their longest home skid since dropping a franchise-worst 11 straight Dec. 16-Jan. 29, 1998.

Denver compiled a 213-66 home record over the previous seven seasons for the NBA's second-best mark during that time.

"There's a lot of pressure (to win at home)," coach Brian Shaw said. "What happens is guys start to look forward to playing on the road because the home crowd starts to get antsy and they start to get on us, especially if it seems like we're not hustling and coming up with the loose balls and things of that nature."

The Nuggets (20-37) saw their woes continue Wednesday in a 110-96 loss to Phoenix. They were limited to 38.3 percent shooting and outrebounded 65-40, including 23-10 on the offensive glass.

"We've been having a hard time knocking down shots," Shaw said.

"The rebounding edge, those are the hustle things that you have to do at home that we haven't been doing. ... They wanted it more than we did and they went after it and they got it. Until we change that, the result is not going to change."

The Nuggets could get a boost with leading rebounder Kenneth Faried (thumb) and fellow forward Wilson Chandler (groin) likely to return. However, Denver will be without center Jusuf Nurkic (ankle), and Darrell Arthur (knee) is listed as doubtful after both big men were hurt Wednesday.

The Nuggets are seeking a third consecutive victory and sixth in eight meetings against the Jazz after winning 103-101 in Utah on Dec. 1. Ty Lawson had 15 points and 12 assists as seven players scored in double figures for Denver, which managed to escape after blowing a 22-point lead.

Utah (21-35) had won four of five before closing a three-game homestand with Wednesday's 100-97 loss to the last-place Los Angeles Lakers. Gordon Hayward had 20 points and Rudy Gobert added a career high-tying 16 and 14 rebounds, but the Jazz had 21 turnovers and 18 assists.

Utah took a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter before getting outscored 31-19.

"We just were weak. Weak-minded," coach Quin Snyder said. "I don't think we just rolled over. It wasn't like there wasn't any intensity. We couldn't finish.

"You have to understand how the game's being played and respond to it. Your level has to go up. .. They were the more aggressive team."

The Jazz are 26th in the league with 94.1 points per game on the road, where they've compiled a 3-13 record against fellow Western Conference opponents. They have dropped seven of nine on the road overall.

Hayward, averaging a team-high 19.6 points, has scored 25.0 per game his last four against the Nuggets.

Faried is averaging 15.7 points on 60.2 percent shooting and 10.0 boards over a 10-game stretch in the series.


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