Minnesota At Denver
When: 9:00 PM
ET, Friday, December 26, 2014
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
The Denver Nuggets are suddenly having trouble scoring points and are hoping a return home can end their latest slide. The Nuggets will try to avoid a third straight loss when they host the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. The Timberwolves have dropped six in a row and are just the team to help Denver out of its offensive slump due to a defense that is still coming together.
Minnesota has allowed an average of 109.8 points in the last six games and began its four-game road trip with a 125-104 setback at Cleveland on Tuesday. The Timberwolves are having fewer problems on the offensive end, where increases in playing time are paying off for youngsters Andrew Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng. Denver won its first game this month to improve to 9-8 but has since dropped nine of 12 heading into a stretch of three straight home games finishing out the year.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (5-22): Minnesota traded away Corey Brewer last week and is missing veterans Ricky Rubio (ankle), Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Kevin Martin (wrist), leaving plenty of minutes for the rest of a young roster. Wiggins scored 27 points in first meeting with the team that made him the No. 1 overall pick in June before trading him away, two away from matching his season high. Muhammad moved into the starting lineup with Brewer gone and is averaging 22.8 points and six rebounds over the last five games.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (12-17): Denver squeezed out a 76-73 win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday but could not match that defensive effort in losses at Charlotte and Brooklyn, squandering a fourth-quarter lead in the 102-96 setback against the Nets. The lone bright spot on the brief road trip came from point guard Ty Lawson, who pulled out of a shooting slump. Lawson collected 29 points and nine assists in the loss at Brooklyn and is 18-of-35 from the floor over the last two games after averaging 10.8 points on 34.1 percent shooting in the previous four contests.
1. Lawson averaged 22.7 points on 51.1 percent shooting in three games against the Timberwolves last season.
2. Minnesota F Thaddeus Young is struggling to 16-of-46 from the field over the last three games.
3. Denver F Darrell Arthur (lower leg) has missed the last four games and remains day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Nuggets 108, Timberwolves 103
Stats and Records
Denver Off vs
101.3 Points For
109.0 Points Against