Denver (4-3) at Indiana (2-3)

By ALAN FERGUSON, STATS Writer Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010 Tipoff: 7:00 pm EST Tue Nov 9, 2010

The Denver Nuggets have continued their uneven start to this season into another road trip. A matchup with the Indiana Pacers could help the Nuggets end that journey on a winning note.

Denver will try to wrap up its three-game trip by adding to its recent success against Indiana on Tuesday night.

After opening their road set with a win over Dallas on Saturday, the Nuggets (4-3) fell 94-92 to Chicago on Monday night, squandering a six-point lead in the final 7:30.

Carmelo Anthony(notes) scored a season-high 32 points, but only six in the final period, and Arron Afflalo(notes) missed a tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds.

“They got the last run,” Anthony said. “We made our run in the third quarter.”

The defeat dropped Denver to 2-2 on the road, but it’s won five of six at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Denver has also won 10 of 12 overall against Indiana (2-3), including last season’s two meetings. Anthony had 25 points and Chauncey Billups(notes) scored 24 as the Nuggets prevailed 111-93 in their most recent trip to Indianapolis last November.

Nene had 16 points and 13 rebounds in that win and will be available after returning from a groin injury Monday that sidelined him three games. He had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 27 minutes in the loss to Chicago.

The Pacers probably hoped it’s Anthony who wouldn’t be available. The Denver forward has averaged 28.9 points in his last nine games against Indiana and 28.4 in his last five at Conseco.

Billups is also averaging 22.3 points in his last four games against the Pacers but missed 10 of 13 shots in the previous matchup, a 122-114 home win March 5. Billups was shooting 32.8 percent before making 5 of 10 attempts against the Bulls.

Indiana, meanwhile, has struggled offensively lately. The Pacers have averaged 82.5 points and shot 34.8 percent in back-to-back losses to open this month. During their 2-1 start, they averaged 104.0 points on 46.3 percent shooting.

After being routed 101-75 in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, Indiana was outscored 24-14 in the fourth quarter Friday night in a 94-90 loss to Milwaukee.

“Tempo has been down for the last couple of games, and that is not the way we play,” forward Danny Granger(notes) told the team’s official website. “We have to improve on the turnovers, shoot the ball better and get our shots to drop.”

The Pacers could have some more depth as Brandon Rush(notes) is expected to return from a five-game suspension for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy. The swingman averaged 9.4 points in his second season in 2009-10, and Indiana picked up the fourth-year option on his contract last month.

“I’m expecting him to play well,” coach Jim O’Brien told the team’s website. “He played in preseason and there were some games he did a great job.”

Granger, averaging a team-best 21.4 points, has topped 30 in two of his last three games against the Nuggets. Despite Granger’s 28.7-point average over that span, the Pacers have dropped all three games.

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Tuesday, Nov 9