The Denver Nuggets had a six-game winning streak snapped and attempt to start a new one when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. The Nuggets were down three starters on Monday and were unable to put up much of an effort as they were pounded 129-103 by the host Detroit Pistons.
Point guard Jamal Murray (ankle) missed his sixth straight game, shooting guard Gary Harris (groin) sat out for the third straight contest and power forward Paul Millsap (ankle) also didn't play against Detroit. "Regardless of how many bodies we had available, we didn't defend the whole night," Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters afterward. "Healthy bodies or no healthy bodies, we got our butts kicked. So no excuses." Brooklyn was just 5-of-42 from 3-point range on Monday as it dropped a 113-94 decision to the Milwaukee Bucks to see its nine-game home winning streak come to an end. The Nets have lost three straight games and four of their last five after a stretch in which they went 19-5.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), YES (Brooklyn) LINE: Nuggets -2
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (37-16): Not only was Denver short-handed against Detroit but All-Star center Nikola Jokic was off his game and had just 16 points, four assists and three rebounds. Jokic recorded triple-doubles in four of the previous seven games and had five 20-point outings and six double-digit rebounding efforts during the stretch. Point guard Monte Morris has been a strong fill-in for Murray and had 18 points against the Pistons and is averaging 18.3 points on 30-of-49 shooting over the past four games.
ABOUT THE NETS (28-27): Brooklyn also will be short-handed with point guard Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) and forwards Joe Harris (hip) and Jared Dudley (hamstring) out but reinforcements are on the way. Shooting guard Caris LeVert (foot) and swingman Allen Crabbe (knee) are progressing from their injuries and are expected to return after the All-Star break if not sooner."Listen, it doesn't have to be 40 minutes, right?" Nets coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters. "If we can start ... just start integrating those guys slowly into the lineup. That's going to be a big boost for us. Right now, like I said, it's good timing."
1. The Nets recorded a 112-110 win in Denver on Nov. 9 despite Jokic producing 37 points and 21 rebounds.
2. Nuggets F Trey Lyles scored 20 points against Detroit and is averaging 19.5 points over the past two contests.
3. Brooklyn PG Shabazz Napier missed all 10 of his 3-point attempts against Milwaukee and is 5-for-28 from long range over the past three games.
PREDICTION: Nuggets 113, Nets 109 Bet Now
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