Nuggets-Grizzlies Preview

The Denver Nuggets’ lengthy winning streak is over. They’d like

to continue their run on the road.

Denver looks to win six straight away from home for the first

time in 24 years on Tuesday night when it faces a Memphis Grizzlies

team trying to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat.

After reeling off six consecutive wins and eight in nine games,

Denver (14-6) was outscored 32-22 in the final 12 minutes and lost

109-105 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.

The Nuggets, though, still have the second-best record in the

Western Conference as they go for their first six-game road winning

streak since March 23-April 8, 1988.

Denver is scoring 112.4 points per game and has won twice in

overtime during its current surge away from home.

“I actually think our mental attitude on the road court has been

better-focused than at home,” coach George Karl told the Nuggets’

official website following Monday’s practice.

Denver hasn’t received much production from Arron Afflalo the

last two games – just five points in 41 minutes – so the possible

return of starting point guard Ty Lawson could give the club a

better matchup against Mike Conley as it makes its first of two

visits to Memphis this season.

Lawson has been out two games with a sprained left ankle.

“If I’m able to play, I’m going to play,” he said on Monday.

“There’s no playing it safe now. We’re in the middle of the season

and we’re still in a group of teams trying to separate ourselves in

the West.”

The Grizzlies (10-10) are falling off the pace after dropping

their fourth in a row on Monday, 83-73 to San Antonio. Back from a

1-3 West Coast trip, Memphis shot 37.0 percent and totaled is

second-fewest points this season as Rudy Gay finished with one and

Marc Gasol had seven on 3-of-11 shooting.

The Grizzlies are scoring 83.0 points per game on 38.4 percent

shooting during their skid compared to 102.0 points and 49.6

percent from the field during a 7-0 surge that preceded this


However, coach Lionel Hollins feels the problem goes far deeper

than his team’s offensive woes.

“Did you see effort out there?” Hollins said Monday after the

Grizzlies’ four-game home winning streak ended. “That’s the

problem. We’re not working. First effort, second effort, third

effort – when we give effort, it’s just for a few seconds, and then

we let up.”

The Grizzlies, who last dropped five in a row from Nov. 10-19,

2010, have lost 14 of 17 in this series, including two of three

last season.

Gay – three steals shy of setting the franchise record with 524

– missed the last meeting versus Denver, a 120-107 road loss on

Feb. 22 due to a partially dislocated left shoulder.

Lawson and Afflalo each scored 21 points in that contest as the

Nuggets won just hours after the blockbuster three-team Carmelo

Anthony deal brought Danilo Gallinari to town.

Gallinari is averaging career highs with 17.9 points, 5.3

rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals. He leads the Nuggets with

19.6 points per game during their road winning streak.

Al Harrington is averaging 18.2 with 7.2 rebounds during this


Denver lost 116-108 on Feb. 13 in its lone visit to Memphis in


If the Nuggets can win for the 15th time in 18 games in this

series, they’ll set a franchise record for victories in a month

with 13.