NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 15th (All times Eastern)
New Orleans Pelicans (11-10) at Denver Nuggets (13-9), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets didn't get their four-game homestand off to a good start and will search for success Sunday versus the New Orleans Pelicans at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets had won two straight and nine of 11 games until a 103-93 loss to the Utah Jazz on Friday spoiled the mood. Denver used a 20-4 run to start the second half for a one-point lead, but the Jazz went back ahead. Utah then scored seven straight points for the win after Denver pulled within three with about three minutes to go.
Wilson Chandler and Jordan Hamilton scored 17 points apiece, Timofey Mozgov netted 13 points and J.J. Hickson added 12 for the Nuggets, who shot 42.4 percent for the game and made only 7-of-21 3-pointers. The Nuggets trailed 33-28 after the first quarter and were outscored, 30-18, in the fourth.
"The first quarter was the beginning of the end for us. They were hitting everything," Denver coach Brian Shaw said.
Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson was held scoreless and handed out four assists.
Denver, which is still an impressive 13-6 since an 0-3 start to the season, owns a 6-3 ledger in the Rocky Mountains and will host Oklahoma City and Phoenix as well on the homestand.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans have been playing sturdy basketball in recent weeks with eight wins in the last 12 contests. They won the last two portions of a four-game homestand and will begin a five-game western jaunt Sunday against the Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Blazers and Kings.
New Orleans, which has a 4-5 mark away from the Big Easy, is coming off Friday's 104-98 triumph versus the Memphis Grizzlies, as Eric Gordon scored 25 points and Jrue Holiday had 20 points and 12 assists. Ryan Anderson scored 18 for the Pelicans, who went over .500 for the second time this season.
The Pelicans bounced back after trailing 34-26 after one quarter.
"The first quarter was not something to be happy about but our guys grinded it out in the second and third," Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "That happens. We don't like it but sometimes teams just make shots."
New Orleans improved to 3-2 since losing center Anthony Davis to a broken hand. Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans (ankle) is questionable against Denver.
The Nuggets took two of three from New Orleans a season ago and are unbeaten in the past three matchups as the host in this series.
12/15 10:41:35 ET