(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday
night in a classic battle of two hot teams who play contrasting styles while
jockeying for playoff position.
"Two teams playing at a high level, playing as well as anybody in the NBA,"
Nuggets coach George Karl said Thursday. "Two totally different philosophies,
two different styles."
Summed up perfectly, Friday's matchup will surely go to the side who can
impose their philosophy on the game.
The Grizzlies lead the NBA in opponents' scoring at 89.4 ppg. They haven't
allowed 100 points in a game in their last 12 and only twice since Feb. 1.
Memphis has held teams under the century mark 55 times this season, which
The Nuggets are the third-highest scoring team in the league at 106.0 ppg and
in their 34 games since the calendar turned to 2013, Denver has gone over 100
in 29 of them.
"It's a game of will," Denver guard Andre Iguodala said. "They're trying to
slow it down, we're trying to speed it up, so it will be a battle."
The Miami Heat are garnering all of the attention with their 20-game winning
streak, but the Grizzlies and Nuggets are both 11-1 since the All-Star break.
Denver has won 10 in a row and Memphis' streak is at six. The Grizzlies were
one of the Heat's victims and that's their only loss in their last 15.
All of these great runs have vaulted the two teams in the standings. Memphis
went by the Los Angeles Clippers for third in the Western Conference. The
Grizzlies are 1 1/2 ahead of the Nuggets, who are fifth, and a half-game ahead
of the Clippers in fourth.
The Grizzlies, who are 2-0 on this west trip which will end on Saturday in
Utah, inched past the Clippers with their 96-85 victory at Staples Center on
"We just wanted to win the game. We both know each other well," center Marc
Gasol said after the victory. "Tonight we were able to execute and move the
Gasol led the way with 21 points and five steals. Tayshaun Prince, Mike
Conley, Zach Randolph and Quincy Pondexter all scored in double figures for
The Nuggets got their 10th consecutive victory in an emotional night in
Denver. Carmelo Anthony returned to Denver for the first time as a member of
the New York Knicks and the Nuggets destroyed the Knicks, 117-94.
Anthony left the game in the third quarter with a knee ailment, but Denver was
already cruising. In a fitting twist of fate, Wilson Chandler (24) and Danilo
Gallinari (16) led the Nuggets in scoring against the Knicks. They were the
two principal pieces Denver acquired in the trade for Anthony.
"I think it's time to let everything go," Karl said. "There's a portion (of
fans) that's going to dislike 'Melo and there's a portion that's going to love
'Melo, but the majority people hopefully are excited about the team we have at
The Nuggets leave for a road trip starting Monday in Chicago and ending in
Oklahoma City the next night.
The Nuggets have won two of three meetings with Memphis this season, including
the lone matchup in Denver on Dec. 14. The Grizzlies have lost 26 of their
last 28 in the Mile High City.
The Sports Network