Subpar teams and road games have been giving the Denver Nuggets problems of late. A trip to Oracle Arena, though, may help their confidence.
In a monthlong slump away from the Pepsi Center, the Nuggets look to extend a four-game winning streak against the Warriors on Wednesday night.
Denver (26-14) has won three straight and five of six, but all of those victories have been at home. The Nuggets have dropped seven of their last eight road games, going 0-3 against teams with records below .500.
After beating Utah 119-112 on Sunday night for its third victory over the Jazz this season, Denver will try to end its struggles against inferior opponents. The Northwest Division-leading Nuggets have split their last 10 meetings against teams currently at .500 or worse.
“My history’s been pretty good at that,” coach George Karl said. “This year, I don’t know why, I just haven’t been able to get the motivation or the demand of intensity upped to overcome.”
The Nuggets, though, have won four straight - including two this season - against the Warriors (12-27), with both teams averaging over 112 points. Golden State ranks second in the NBA with 107.4 points per game and Denver is third at 107.3.
The Nuggets may again utilize two point guards at the same time after using that strategy successfully against Utah. Denver started Chauncey Billups(notes), pairing him with rookie Ty Lawson(notes) on occasion.
Billups had 29 points and Lawson had 11 points and two key steals in his return from a sprained ankle that cost him four games. The duo settled down a Nuggets offense that can sometimes be erratic.
“Ty and Chauncey can attack,” forward Carmelo Anthony(notes) said. “Ty can get to the rim any time he wants and Chauncey, being able to shoot the ball and then create for himself like he can, it makes it hard for them to double-team me and Nene down there.”
Golden State, with a frontcourt that has been thinned out due to injuries, might have a particularly tough time stopping Denver’s post players. Though they dressed eight players for the second straight game, the Warriors snapped a three-game losing streak with a 114-97 win over Chicago on Monday.
With big men Anthony Randolph(notes) (ankle), Vladimir Radmanovic(notes) (Achilles’) and Ronny Turiaf(notes) (ankle) out, Golden State got a much-needed strong performance from 7-footer Andris Biedrins(notes), who had a season-high 19 rebounds to go along with a career-best eight blocks.
It was Biedrins’ 10th game and sixth start since missing 25 contests due to a groin injury.
“It feels better than before,” Biedrins said. “Physically, I feel better each game. … I’m getting there to where I was before and where I want to be.”
Ellis is averaging 30.1 points over his last 15 games, including 32 in a 123-122 loss to Denver on Jan. 5. Ellis, though, was called for the foul that allowed Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith(notes) to seal the win with two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Maggette, who had a game-high 35 points in the last meeting with Denver, is averaging 28.3 over his last nine contests.