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News » Grizzlies-Nuggets Preview 2009-10-31

Grizzlies-Nuggets Preview 2009-10-31

Grizzlies-Nuggets Preview 2009-10-31Carmelo Anthony has helped the Denver Nuggets close in on their best start in 25 seasons.

To accomplish that feat, Anthony and the Nuggets will try to continue their dominance over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

With Anthony scoring a combined 71 points, Denver is 2-0 for only the third time since 1987. He helped rally the Nuggets to their latest victory Thursday at Portland by scoring 19 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws to finish off the 97-94 win.

That followed a 30-point performance in a 114-105 season-opening victory over visiting Utah.

"These first two games, they weren't just important. They were battles," Anthony told Denver's official Web site. "They were two fights and division games, which makes it even more important."

The Nuggets haven't started 3-0 since opening with six straight wins in 1985-86, but they couldn't have picked a much better opponent in their attempt to reach that milestone.

Denver is 24-3 all-time at home against the Grizzlies, winning 21 of 22. The Nuggets are also searching for their eighth consecutive win overall against Memphis dating back to the start of the 2008-09 season.

After getting blown out by 22 points in their season opener Wednesday night against Detroit, the Grizzlies (1-1) bounced back on Friday with a 115-107 victory over Toronto as Zach Randolph scored 30 points.

Randolph, acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in July, has averaged 22.0 points and eight rebounds in the first two games for his new team, while Marc Gasol has registered 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

The Grizzlies could also get their top free agent signee, Allen Iverson, back on the floor sometime during their five-game Western road trip, but Iverson will likely miss facing his former team.

Iverson, who suffered a partially torn left hamstring during training camp, has been cleared to practice and his status upgraded to day-to-day. He is expected to return Monday in Sacramento.

Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay and Sam Young haven't missed any time despite dealing with nagging injuries.

"We've got a lot of nicks and bruises," coach Lionel Hollins said. "But you've still got to play. It's the NBA, and if you're not injured and it's just pain, you've go to go out and play to the best of your ability."

While Anthony has started red hot, Chauncey Billups has scored 47 points through the first two games and averaged 21.0 in the Nuggets' three wins last season over the Grizzlies.

Anthony missed one of the victories with a fractured right hand but scored 59 points in the other two games, including the game-clinching free throws in the final seconds of a 111-109 road win March 18 that capped a 35-point effort.

Mayo was 10 of 14 from 3-point range and led Memphis in averaging 22.0 points against the Nuggets last season. Gay added 19.7 points per game in the three defeats.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 1, 2009


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