NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 22nd (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (34-21) at Washington Wizards (15-37), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets stopped home for one game after the All- Star break, now it's back to the road Friday when they visit the Washington Wizards.
The Nuggets finished a four-game eastern trip just before the break last week. It was a 1-3 trek and all three losses came consecutively in the last three stops.
When the NBA convened the second half, Denver earned a 97-90 home victory over the Boston Celtics.
Hope the Nuggets didn't enjoy the home cooking too long. They are back on the east coast for two straight, starting Friday in Washington and ending Saturday night in Charlotte against the Bobcats.
On Tuesday, Denver exacted some revenge on the team that started their three- game swoon, the Boston Celtics. The Nuggets prevailed 97-90 and it was the first time since Jan. 16 they failed to score 100 points, a span of 13 games.
"Having four or five days off, you think it's easy to turn the switch back on but it isn't," George Karl said. "There was a lot of huffing and puffing going on out there. The Celtics played hard and fast, and we played hard and fast. I think it was a gutty win."
Tuesday's "gutty win" was Karl's 400th as head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Only Doug Moe (432) has more victories than Karl in franchise history.
The Wizards dropped their first game after the break and have lost two in a row. They fell at home to the Toronto Raptors Tuesday night, 96-88. Washington had won four in a row prior to a loss to the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 13.
"We had a long film session, looking at ourselves," head coach Randy Wittman said after practice on Wednesday. "Whenever you go back over a game and don't recognize what you're seeing, it's usually not a good sign."
Against the Raptors, with a broken scoreboard and shot clock, the game had a weird vibe. Washington was outscored 27-19 in the first quarter, but couldn't dent the Toronto lead.
Rookie Bradley Beal scored a game-high 25 points. Martell Webster chipped in 16 and Emeka Okafor and Trevor Booker both scored in double figures.
It was a night to forget for John Wall. He only managed nine points on 1- for-12 shooting and committed seven turnovers.
"Burn it and look forward to the next one," Wall said of his performance.
Aside from the scoreboard issues, another weird subplot of the game was Jordan Crawford. He was a DNP - Coach's Decision for the fourth straight game and threw his jersey into the stands on the way back to the locker room.
"I'm watching the game. I can't comment on that," Wittman said.
Crawford has 12 20-point games this season, but Wittman doesn't have to worry about him any longer. The Wiz shipped Crawford to the Celtics for Leandro Barbosa, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, and Jason Collins.
"This trade ... helps us continue to build on the culture we are establishing in the locker room and gives us additional financial flexibility," said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld.
The Wizards beat the Nuggets in Denver on Jan. 18, but Denver won the previous four matchups.
02/22 10:43:39 ET