NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 1st (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (9-21) at Denver Nuggets (14-16), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets almost knocked off the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat and are mired in a season-high seven-game losing streak.
The Nuggets have a good chance at getting back on track with the road-weary Philadelphia 76ers scheduled to visit the Pepsi Center Wednesday night.
Denver dropped a 97-94 decision to LeBron James and the Heat on Monday, as Ty Lawson missed on a pair of 3-point attempts in the waning seconds. Lawson led the Nuggets with 26 points, while Wilson Chandler and Darrell Arthur scored 13 points apiece for Denver, which hasn't won since Dec. 15 versus New Orleans.
The Nuggets shot 46.9 percent against the Heat, but committed 15 turnovers for 17 Miami points. They couldn't get over the hump even with Heat veteran guard Dwyane Wade sidelined the second half with a back issue.
"Valiant effort from our guys," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "If we played with that kind of energy and that kind of tenacity we'll win more games than we lose.The biggest thing tonight is the third quarter."
Shaw's squad did outscore the Heat in the paint by a 48-28 margin and in second-chance points, 18-7.
Chandler has scored 10 or more points in 11 straight games and 19 of his last 21 for Denver, which is 7-7 in the Rockies and will also host Memphis on Friday during this three-game homestand. Denver is winless in four straight at the Pepsi Center.
The last time the Nuggets lost seven in a row was during an eight-game slide from April 1-16, 2003.
Philadelphia ended its 13-game road losing with Sunday's 111-104 victory over the hobbled Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. It was the Sixers' first road win since a 109-102 triumph at Washington back on Nov. 1.
Thaddeus Young had 25 points and nine rebounds, Evan Turner contributed 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Spencer Hawes netted 19 points with eight rebounds for the 76ers, who recorded just their second win in the last 11 games. The Sixers used an early 18-2 run to erase a 10-point deficit, but had to battle back again in the fourth quarter.
Turner scored 10 of his 22 points during the decisive stanza and helped the Sixers improve to 2-13 on the road and 1-2 on a six-game jaunt.
"Wins from time to time help validate the time that everyone's put in," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of his players. "I'm happy for them. I think they deserve it."
The 76ers will also visit Sacramento and Portland, and haven't won consecutive games since a surprising 3-0 start. They have the worst defense in the league, allowing 111.5 points per game, and have allowed opponents to score 100 or more points 27 times in 30 games.
Philadelphia has given up that many points in each of the past eight games.
However, Philly has posted 100-plus points in six of the past seven contests, averaging 105.4 ppg in that time.
The Sixers lost the first meeting with Denver, 103-92, on Dec. 7 at Wells Fargo Center and have dropped three of the previous four meetings between the teams. Philadelphia has lost three of its last five games in Denver.
01/01 10:21:28 ET