Indiana (46-16) at Denver (33-30)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Sun Mar 7, 2004
  • TV: FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Denver Nuggets set an embarrassing scoring record Saturday.

They will look to put that performance behind them when they host the Indiana Pacers in the finale of a four-game homestand.

The Nuggets turned in a dreadful offensive effort Saturday, shooting 32.1 percent in a 97-66 loss to the Detroit Pistons. They became the first team since the implementation of the shot clock during the 1954-55 season to have no players score in double figures.

Rookie forward Carmelo Anthony, one of six Nuggets to score eight points, missed his first seven shots on his way to a 3-of-17 night from the field.

The Nuggets also committed 18 turnovers and were outrebounded 56-37.

“That was just embarrassing,” Denver guard Jon Barry said. “Take your pick. Anything basketball-related, you can say we were bad at it.”

Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik was very concerned with his team’s complete ineptitude.

“It’s alarming,” Bzdelik said. “Over 82 games you’re going to have a lot of jewels and some bummers. This was a bummer.”

As they try to win for just the second time in nine games, the Nuggets will need to avoid another bummer against Indiana.

The Eastern Conference-leading Pacers have won four straight, including a 96-88 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday. Jermaine O’Neal had 30 points and 10 rebounds, but the Pacers blew a 15-point lead before rallying for the win.

Ron Artest, playing in just his third game back from thumb surgery, scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.

“That’s a great go-to guy in the fourth quarter because it’s hard to double him and he’s so good and crafty with the basketball,” Indiana guard Reggie Miller said of Artest. “He makes things happen.”

Artest said he was disappointed with the way Indiana wasted its early lead.

“We were pretty upset about that,” Artest said. “We know how important, how hard it is to get leads, and to give it up on a couple possessions, that’s not characteristic of us. Actually it has been, but we know we can do better.”

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