(Sports Network) - Denver Nuggets coach George Karl said prior to his team's
win over the Houston Rockets that he will start Wilson Chandler in place of
injured forward Danilo Gallinari because he gives the staff the most trust and
Chandler didn't disappoint with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting and looks to
stay in good faith when the San Antonio Spurs invade the Pepsi Center
Wednesday night. Chandler filled in nicely for Gallinari, who's out for the
season with a torn knee ligament. He was one of seven players to score at
least 10 points for the Nuggets, who were led by Corey Brewer's 22 points off
the bench in Saturday's 132-114 victory over the Rockets.
Andre Iguodala delivered 18 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, while Evan
Fournier (17), Anthony Randolph (14), Kenneth Faried (13) and Andre Miller
(11) all scored in double figures. Miller handed out 12 assists in the win,
Denver's 20th in a row at home.
"We have a very deep team and we had a lot of players step up. Basically the
whole team stepped up," Chandler said.
The Nuggets have won four in a row and are 19-2 in the last 21 games. They are
3 1/2 games behind the idle Oklahoma City Thunder for the Northwest Division
lead and the second spot in the West standings.
Denver, which had a 39-21 advantage in the second quarter and scored 32 points
off 19 Houston turnovers, is 35-3 at home and will close out a three-game
residency Wednesday night. The 20 straight home wins matched the winning
streak set by the 1984-85 squad from Jan.9-March 30. Before the Nuggets joined
the NBA in 1976-77, they won 26 in a row at home in 1974-75.
The 1975-76 squad ripped off 28 wins in a row in the Rocky Mountains.
The 132 points the Nuggets dropped on the Rockets were a season high. Denver
has won 38 of the last 39 home games when scoring 100 or more points and
hasn't tasted defeat as the host since Jan. 18 versus Washington. Primarily
known as a high-tempo team, the Nuggets scored a season-best 35 fastbreak
points versus Houston.
After hosting the Spurs, Denver will visit Dallas on Friday for its fourth
straight game against a Texas-based team (Mavs, Rockets, Spurs, Mavs).
San Antonio will try to put the brakes on a four-game road losing streak
Wednesday and is 23-15 outside the Alamo City this season.
The Spurs had lost three of four games and bounced back with Saturday's 99-97
triumph versus the Atlanta Hawks. Tim Duncan tapped into the fountain of youth
with 31 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, while Kawhi Leonard added 23
points for the Spurs, who are one-half game ahead of the Thunder for the
Western Conference's top seed.
"Yeah, I have my shot back now. It feels good. It helps that it's going in
too. I feel good all around," said Duncan, who is averaging 22.5 points and
11.4 rebounds over his last 10 contests.
Duncan has three 30-point games and eight double-doubles in that span.
Spurs guard Tony Parker missed the game with a sore neck/shins and is
questionable against the Nuggets. Parker has missed time this season because
of an ankle problem and leads the team with 20.6 ppg.
Leonard has scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games and is third on the
team in scoring with 12.1 ppg. Duncan is second with 17.7 ppg.
Spurs guard Danny Green spoke to the media after a recent practice and talked
about what the Spurs have to do for the stretch run.
"Definitely, definitely," Green said when asked if there was a sense of
urgency with the regular season winding down. "We know there's only like five
or six games left, something like that, playoffs are right around the corner.
We want to be playing our best basketball and be as healthy as we possibly can
be within the next week or two so that we're ready come playoff time. I think
everybody has a sense of urgency right now."
Wednesday's showdown between the Spurs and Nuggets will have a playoff
atmosphere and San Antonio leads the season series, 2-1. San Antonio is 9-3 in
the past 12 matchups with Denver.
These two teams have split the last 10 meetings at the Pepsi Center.
The Sports Network