New Orleans At Denver
When: 8:00 PM
ET, Sunday, March 1, 2015
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The New Orleans Pelicans continue their pursuit of a Western Conference playoff spot when they visit the sputtering Denver Nuggets on Sunday. New Orleans has posted four straight wins – three without All-Star power forward Anthony Davis – and role players like Quincy Pondexter and Alexis Ajinca have stepped up to be stars over the last two games. Denver has lost 18 of its last 20 games and suffered a 104-82 drubbing at the hands of the Utah Jazz on Friday.
The Nuggets have lost five straight games and nine consecutive home games, two shy of an 11-game home skid during the 1997-98 campaign. “We are about to lose our sanity,” point guard Ty Lawson told reporters. “These are the most games I’ve lost in my whole career.” New Orleans is ascending and guard Eric Gordon isn’t surprised that the club is thriving despite the loss of Davis, Ryan Anderson and guard Jrue Holiday to injuries, saying “Whoever falls, we have enough talent to still win games.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE PELICANS (31-27): Pondexter scored a career-best 25 points in Wednesday’s victory over the Brooklyn Nets and Ajinca put on an even more shocking performance with a career-high 24, including the game-winning basket, in Friday’s victory over the Miami Heat. The 7-2 Ajinca is averaging 16.7 points on 21-of-28 shooting during the three games Davis has missed as he once again attempts to show he is worthy of sticking on an NBA roster. “He’s always been skilled but he’s gotten so much stronger and in better condition” New Orleans coach Monty Williams told reporters. “Last year, he’d play three or four minutes and be wiped out. How he’s in much better shape and I think it’s allowing him to finish plays at the rim.”
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (20-38): Denver coach Brian Shaw continues to feel his frustration level rise as the losses mount and some of his players take the defeats in stride. “We can’t not be the most talented team and continue to get outworked night-in and night-out and not look like we really care,” Shaw told reporters. “That is the most frustrating for me. I want to see somebody get mad.” Only one of Denver’s last seven losses is by single digits and the Nuggets have allowed over 100 points in eight of their past 11.
1. Denver is 2-0 against the Pelicans this season, winning by an average of 14 points.
2. Nuggets C Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) will miss his second straight game, while F Darrell Arthur (calf) is questionable after missing the loss to Utah.
3. New Orleans PG Tyreke Evans has strung together three consecutive double-doubles.
PREDICTION: Pelicans 101, Nuggets 88
Stats and Records
Denver Off vs
New Orleans Def
99.5 Points For
99.4 Points Against