Denver (44-21) at Memphis (35-31)

  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Sat Mar 13, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

A classic Carmelo Anthony(notes) scoring run has led the Denver Nuggets during their latest winning streak. A matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies doesn’t seem likely to slow him down.

Winners of five straight, the Nuggets hope for another big game from Anthony as they visit the Grizzlies on Saturday night.

Denver (44-21) is ranked second in the league in scoring, averaging 107.6 points, but it has been even better during its winning streak, posting 114.2 per contest.

Anthony had 32 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Nuggets to a 102-95 win over New Orleans on Friday night. His fast-break layup gave Denver an 88-86 lead with 5:32 remaining.

“That’s a time where you really lock in and focus on trying to take the shots you want to take, try to get to your spot,” Anthony said.

The three-time All-Star has scored 30 points or more in four of his last five games.

Two of Anthony’s biggest scoring games this season were against Memphis (35-31), which is surrendering 102.8 points per game. Though Anthony is averaging 41.5 points in those contests, the season series is tied at 1.

Denver had won eight straight against Memphis before a 102-96 road loss Dec. 20.

Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups(notes) missed that contest due to a strained groin. He is averaging 24.8 points and 9.4 assists in his last five road games versus the Grizzlies.

Anthony Carter(notes) has been Billups’ primary backup while Ty Lawson(notes) rests a bruised shoulder. Lawson has missed the last six games, but may be close to returning.

Denver has also been without Kenyon Martin(notes) (knee) for the past four games. Martin, out indefinitely, has been replaced in the starting lineup by Johan Petro(notes).

George Karl’s absence, however, has been perhaps the Nuggets’ most significant loss. He will miss this entire five-game road trip to adjust to a feeding tube that was placed into his stomach as part of his cancer treatment.

Karl, undergoing a rigorous six-week treatment program of radiation and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with neck and throat cancer last month, said he hopes to be ready to rejoin the team when it returns home to face Washington on Tuesday night.

Karl’s assistant, Adrian Dantley, has been coaching the team in his place and has managed to keep it focused.

Memphis is also enjoying a strong run, winning three straight and five of six after losing 11 of its previous 16. The Grizzlies have won two straight at home after losing their previous eight.

Memphis shot 90.9 percent (30 for 33) from the line in a 119-112 win over New York on Friday night.

Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph(notes) had 10 of his 24 points from the line while adding 11 rebounds. Randolph had 32 points and set what was then a career high with 24 rebounds in December’s matchup with the Nuggets.

Randolph topped that mark with 25 boards in a 120-109 victory over the Knicks on Feb. 27. He’s averaging 20.7 points and a career-best 11.8 rebounds.

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Saturday, Mar 13