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Game Preview: Nuggets in Dallas, Eye Road Trip Sweep
DALLAS – The Nuggets enter Tuesday night’s game at the Dallas Mavericks with the chance to do something they haven’t done in six years – sweep a road trip of at least three games.
If the Nuggets win, it would be the first road sweep of at least three games since January 2012, and the longest streak of consecutive road wins overall (5) since winning six in a row in March 2013. The five straight roads wins would also tie for the second-longest road winning streak in team history.
To get there, however, won’t be easy.
The Nuggets are 1-6 in their last seven games at the American Airlines Center. That one win was recent – last season – but the Nuggets are 0-1 in Dallas this season. The Mavericks own one of the NBA’s worst records (19-45), but are fully capable of turning in a winning performance in front of their home crowd.
“I think the big thing is containing their guards,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “Even when Devin (Harris) was there, we had a hard time containing their quick guards. Why is that a problem? Because it leads to layups, it leads to offensive rebounds and drive-and-kick threes. They take a lot of threes, and when they make threes off of drive-and-kick, they become a very tough team to guard.
“One-on-one containment and our ability to guard the 3-point line are probably the most important things.”
A win also keeps the Nuggets on solid footing in the Western Conference playoff race, where it seems all of the other hopefuls are winning games every night. How tight is the race? The Nuggets are in eighth, but are just two games out of the third spot. They are also two games from the 10th spot.
“That’s why it is important to win the games you’re supposed to, and continue to take it one game at a time,” Malone said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun and exciting. You’ve got eight teams battling for six spots.”
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org and @chrisadempsey on Twitter