A loss at the defending champion Golden State Warriors doesn't look terrible, but falling to the NBA-worst Atlanta Hawks at home might be a low point for the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets will try to pick themselves up and avoid a second straight loss to a team at the bottom of the standings when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.

Denver's losing streak began with a loss at lowly Sacramento and hit three in a row with Wednesday's 110-97 setback, and coach Michael Malone is not happy with his team's effort. "At the end of the day, I put this loss on me," Malone told reporters. "Obviously, I'm not doing my job to get this team ready to play. ... We come out thinking we can just show up. In this league, when you think you can just show up and win a game, you get your (butt) kicked. That's exactly what happened tonight." The Grizzlies avoided sole possession of last place in the Western Conference by edging New Orleans 105-102 on Wednesday and will be trying to secure back-to-back wins for the first time since Oct. 26 and 28. "They found a way to scrap out a win," Memphis interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters. "That's who we've become, but it hasn't necessarily shown itself in the win-loss column, but we've continued to fight. We fought back tonight. We just made the one more play that we needed to make."

TV: 9 p.m. ET, FS Southeast (Memphis), Altitude (Denver)

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (13-27): Memphis star center Marc Gasol had been struggling in fourth quarters before scoring seven of his 21 points in the final period on Wednesday, including a pair of baskets with under 2 1/2 minutes left that kept his team in the lead. "The guys did a great job of finding me and making sure that I got the ball in the right spot," Gasol told reporters. "We were patient. I thought that we had more movement and that allows us to be more proactive instead of reactive to the things that they try to do to us. It was good. I think defensively, we did a really good job." Gasol once again got plenty of help from shooting guard Tyreke Evans, who scored 28 points on Wednesday to go over 20 for the eighth time in the last nine games.

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (21-20): Denver guard Will Barton is struggling through a shooting slump and is 13-of-36 from the floor during the three-game slide. "Now it's a tough spot. We're on a losing streak, and now it's time to get out of it. You learn about yourself (during adversity)," Barton told the Denver Post. "Me, I'm a guy that likes these types of times. They reveal a lot about your character, so I'm willing to embrace the challenge. I'm ready. I can't wait to play against Memphis." Star center Nikola Jokic is in a shooting slump as well and went 4-of-21 from the floor on Wednesday, including 0-of-8 from 3-point range.


1. Memphis PF JaMychal Green recorded his third double-double of the season with 20 points and 14 rebounds on Wednesday.

2. Nuggets PF Paul Millsap (wrist) had his cast removed and is targeting a return around the All-Star break.

3. Denver snapped a three-game losing streak in the series with a 104-92 win on Nov. 24.

PREDICTION: Nuggets 106, Grizzlies 99