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News » Nets-Nuggets Preview 2009-11-23

Nets-Nuggets Preview 2009-11-23

Nets-Nuggets Preview 2009-11-23The Denver Nuggets haven't lost a regular-season home game in nearly nine months. That winning streak shouldn't be in much danger against the New Jersey Nets.

Denver looks to improve to 6-0 at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night when it faces a Nets team that is approaching the worst start in NBA history.

Coming off a 106-99 road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, the Nuggets (9-4) rebounded with a 112-93 victory over visiting Chicago on Saturday.

"This was a tough win for us, especially coming off a tough loss, tough loss," point guard Chauncey Billups said after scoring 21 points. "We feel like we need to get as many games at home as we can, and the only way we can do that is try to win as many games at home as we can. There's going to be some tough nights, but we do focus on establishing a great home court."

Denver has gone undefeated in 15 games at the Pepsi Center since a 97-95 loss to Houston on March 9.

The Nuggets will try to extend that home-court dominance against the Nets (0-13), who are four losses from tying the league's worst start shared by Miami in 1988-89 and the Clippers in 1998-99.

New Jersey, which opens a four-game western trip Tuesday, lost 98-91 to New York on Saturday.

"I've never been in a situation like this," said guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, averaging 18.1 points and 5.5 rebounds. "I really can't describe the feeling I have right now. I take every loss very hard, but this many losses without a win, I really don't know what to feel. I don't know where I'm at right now. Mentally, it's tough."

New Jersey has lost 12 in a row for the first time since a 14-game skid from Jan. 19-Feb. 20, 1990.

The Nets got back All-Star point guard Devin Harris after he missed the previous 10 games with a strained right groin. He came off the bench and contributed 12 points and seven assists.

"It's frustrating all the way around and you can see it on guys' faces," Harris said.

With a chance to avoid matching the franchise's worst start, the Nets fell to 0-5 with a 122-94 loss to the visiting Nuggets on Nov. 4. Denver trailed by one at halftime but outscored New Jersey 44-26 in the third quarter, with Billups scoring all 12 of his points in the period and Carmelo Anthony adding 11 of his 22.

Anthony, the NBA's leading scorer at 30.5 points per game, shot 58.8 percent from the field in his last four games after hitting 36.4 percent or less in five of his previous six contests.

Denver guard J.R. Smith is shooting 43.7 percent, and his ability to score in bunches from long range makes him a consistent threat. Smith scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter Saturday, hitting two 3s in the period.

"He's an explosive player," coach George Karl said. "I thought we ran a couple of plays that got him going."

Smith was suspended for the Nov. 4 game at New Jersey.

The Nuggets have won five of six against the Nets.

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Added: November 23, 2009


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