Denver (36-33) at Detroit (44-25)

Cloudy Currently: Auburn Hills, MI, US
Temp: 25° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Fri Mar 19, 2004
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The Denver Nuggets would rather forget their first game against the Detroit Pistons. They’ll get a chance to redeem themselves when the teams meet for the second time.

In a 97-66 loss to the Pistons on March 6, the Nuggets became the first team since the implementation of the shot clock during the 1954-55 season to fail to have a player reach double figures. Six Nuggets tied with eight points apiece.

The win was the second of five straight in which the Pistons held their opponent to less than 70 points. That streak ended Thursday, but the Pistons still rolled with an 89-71 win over the New Jersey Nets.

The Pistons’ sub-70 streak was unprecedented in league history, as no team had ever done it three times, much less five. However, center Ben Wallace said the Pistons were not concerned when it came to an end.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” Wallace said. “To even get seven in a row like that, then we are going to have teams cheating to get past 70. I thought we played very good.”

Chauncey Billups led the Pistons with 20 points, and Rasheed Wallace added 16 and eight rebounds to help Detroit clinch a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive season.

“We were just out there playing,” Rasheed Wallace said. “New Jersey is a good ball club, and we were just out there playing. We are on a little roll right now.”

While the Pistons have cruised since their last meeting with the Nuggets, Denver has gone 3-3.

Rookie forward Carmelo Anthony had 20 points and nine rebounds Wednesday, but the Nuggets fell to the Boston Celtics 104-100.

Starting forward Nene had 12 points and 10 rebounds before leaving midway through the third quarter with a left ankle sprain. He is considered day-to-day.

“I am worried about my guy,” Nuggets center Marcus Camby said. “I don’t know how serious it is, but if he can go he will be out there.”

The Nuggets have a 1 1/2 -game lead over Portland and Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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