The Nuggets look for their fourth straight win over the Warriors when the offensive-minded clubs meet at the Pepsi Center on Monday.
Denver (25-24) is seventh in the Western Conference Standings, and trying to make the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Golden State, looking to end a 12-year postseason drought, is 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the eighth and final playoff berth in the West.
Denver and Golden State’s offenses each are averaging 105.5 points to tie for third in the league behind division leaders Washington and Phoenix. Defense is not their specialty, though—the Nuggets are giving up the fourth-most points in the league at 103.9 per game while the Warriors have the worst defense at 107.4 points.
“We have to get better defensively,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said after their 106-105 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
Defense wasn’t played much the last time these teams met in the Nuggets’ 140-129 win on Nov. 24 in Denver. The Nuggets shot 55.3 percent from the floor en route to a season high in points, while the Warriors shot 57.0 percent.
“It (felt) like a recreation game,” Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony said after that game. “You’re just out there running. You score and they come back down and score, keep going back and forth.”
Anthony had 30 points and seven assists after scoring 33 points and grabbing nine rebounds two days earlier in Denver’s 115-112 road victory over Golden State.
Anthony, who was named to the All-Star team by NBA commissioner David Stern on Friday, has never lost at home to the Warriors. Denver has won six straight home games over Golden State and six of its last seven overall.
The Nuggets beat Milwaukee 109-102 on Saturday behind Anthony’s 29 points.
Anthony has been shouldering more of the load for Denver lately, as fellow All-Star Allen Iverson has missed six of the last seven games with a sprained right ankle and is questionable for this game.
Marcus Camby, who leads the Nuggets with 12.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game, has missed the last two with flu-like symptoms and is day-to-day.
“I just told my team we’ve got to have fun, put all that stuff behind us, put the injuries behind us,” Anthony said. “These last couple of games, that’s what I’ve been doing, just having fun.”
Eduardo Najera has been stepping up for Camby, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds on Saturday. Najera is averaging 14.7 points—8.0 points better than his season average—on 79.2 percent shooting in his last three games.
Golden State (24-28) has lost eight of its last 10 road games and has been playing without three starters.
Baron Davis has missed the last four games nursing a bruised left knee. Mickael Pietrus missed the loss to the Hawks with a sprained right ankle, and Jason Richardson is out until after the All-Star break with a broken hand suffered Dec. 30 against Sacramento.
Center Andris Biedrins had 16 points and 16 rebounds against the Hawks on Sunday, and scored a career-high 31 points in his last game against Denver.