NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 18th (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (45-22) at Chicago Bulls (36-29), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets will look for their 12th consecutive victory Monday night when they travel to Chicago to face the Bulls at the United Center.
While the whole league is focusing on the Miami Heat's 22-game win streak, which tied the second-longest run in NBA history, the Nuggets have their longest winning streak in 30 years.
Andre Miller was the only member of the Nuggets who was alive when the franchise won 11 straight from Feb. 24-Mar. 15, 1983.
Four of these 11 games came on the road where the Nuggets have a significantly weaker schedule. Denver is just 15-19 away from the Pepsi Center this season. In the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets are a staggering 30-3, but Denver ventures to Chicago and Oklahoma City in the next two nights.
The Nuggets' win streak reached 11 straight with a great, 87-80 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. The win, and a Memphis loss the next night to the Utah Jazz, has Denver and the Grizz knotted for the fourth playoff spot.
Against the awesome Grizzlies front line, Nuggets center Kosta Koufos led the way with 18 points. Danilo Gallinari had 15 and Corey Brewer and Miller both scored in double figures off the bench.
"The mental aspect of winning this game is a big step," George Karl said. "Our mental composure and direction and toughness was grown-up. It was a man's game. It was a game that you won because of heart and toughness and guts and glory and dig-it-out."
The Bulls salvaged the last one of a three-game jaunt out west on Saturday. They trounced the Golden State Warriors, 113-95. Chicago was up by 10 at the half, then won the third quarter by 21 points to put the game away with 12 minutes to go.
"Win or lose, that was the best we've played in a long time," said Joakim Noah. "Losing to Sacramento the way we lost to Sacramento the other day was very humbling and it's a reality check. If you don't come ready to play we can get our (butts) kicked. We've been going through a lot of adversity. It was a big win for us tonight and we just got to keep fighting."
The Bulls fell to the Kings 121-79 on Wednesday.
Against the Warriors, Luol Deng led the way with 23 points. Carlos Boozer chipped in 21 and Nate Robinson had 20. Noah added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Marco Belinelli scored 13.
The Nuggets have won three in a row against the Bulls, including a 128-96 drubbing in Denver on Feb. 7. Denver has won two of its last three in the Windy City.
03/18 10:47:08 ET