Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets (-5, 195)
The two hottest teams west of Miami square off Friday when the Denver Nuggets host the Memphis Grizzlies. The Nuggets are seeking their 11th consecutive victory overall and their 15th straight home win. The Grizzlies have won six straight games and 14 of their last 15. Adding to the stellar matchup is that fifth-place Denver is just 1 1/2 games behind third-place Memphis in the Western Conference playoff race. The Grizzlies are playing the third contest of a four-game road swing.
Memphis has held 12 straight opponents under 100 points and it will be quite a challenge for them to hold down the high-flying Nuggets, who are averaging 122.8 points during their 10-game winning streak. The Grizzlies are a solid 19-11 on the road while Denver boasts a 29-3 home mark. Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler said his squad is happy with the two impressive streaks but not satisfied. “It feels good, but at the same time, we just want to keep playing like we’ve lost five in a row,” Chandler said after Wednesday’s trouncing of the New York Knicks. “You want to close the season strong, but you worry about getting better as a team rather than a win streak.” Denver has won two of this season’s three meetings, with Memphis holding the Nuggets to a season-low 72 points in its win on Dec. 29.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Memphis), Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (44-19, 38-24-1 ATS): Forward Tayshaun Prince was initially stunned and disappointed that the Detroit Pistons had shipped in him to Memphis after 10 1/2 seasons but has begun to fit in well with the Grizzlies. Prince scored 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting in Wednesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and the scoring output matched his best showing in 18 games since joining the squad. Prince is averaging 9.4 points with Memphis. “We just keep playing good basketball,” Prince said after the win over Los Angeles. “It’s very surprising I’m able to build that bond with them so quickly, without having a training camp. We trust each other, and that’s the most important thing.”
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (44-22, 41-24-1 ATS): Denver last won 11 straight games during the 1982-83 season and has become nearly invincible at home. Chandler had 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting against the Knicks for his fourth 20-point outing in 11 games and has become a valuable reserve. Chandler missed most of the first 2 1/2 months after having offseason hip surgery and is averaging 11.4 points. Power forward Kenneth Faried has been a consistent force in the interior and recorded his 28th double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds against New York. Faried averages 11.8 points and 9.6 rebounds.
* Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Grizzlies are 6-14 ATS in the last 20 meetings in Denver.
* Grizzlies are 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games.
* Nuggets are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 home games.
1. The Grizzlies are just 4-29 when playing in Denver, including a 99-96 loss on Dec. 14.
2. The Nuggets have scored 100 or more points in 24 of their past 25 games.
3. Memphis F Zach Randolph is averaging 16 points and nine rebounds in two games since returning from a four-game absence due to an ankle injury.