Bucks-Nuggets Preview

The Associated Press

After opening February with a bang, the Denver Nuggets are hoping their latest result is a sign of things to come.

A visit from the NBA's worst team could help them get on a roll.

Denver goes for a seventh straight victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, who try to avoid a 10th consecutive road loss Wednesday night.

The Nuggets (23-23) had dropped five of seven before beating the Clippers 116-115 on Monday on Randy Foye's 3-pointer from 30 feet out as time expired.

"He's a great shooter, and he's been shooting the ball lights-out for most of his career," forward J.J. Hickson said. "One thing about Foye, whether he's on balance or not, he's going to make sure he's got some air under the ball and hold his follow through, and he knocked down a big shot for us.

"We have to do a great job of building on this win and get ready for Milwaukee, because if you lose to Milwaukee this game doesn't mean anything."

The Nuggets, who got a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds from Kenneth Faried on Monday, would appear to have a big edge over the Bucks (9-39). Milwaukee has compiled an 0-9 road record since the start of January, a stretch during which it's been outscored by an average of 15.1 points.

The Bucks haven't lost 10 in a row away from home since an 11-game skid in 2006-07.

Milwaukee is coming off a thrilling win of its own, 101-98 over New York on Monday. Brandon Knight led the way with 25 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left.

"That's his shot. He loves that little step-back, half-dribble 3," said forward Khris Middleton, who added 19 points.

Knight and Middleton went a combined 9 of 14 from 3-point range as the Bucks shot a season-high 61.1 percent (11 of 18) from beyond the arc.

"I'm happy for our team because we were able to fight. If you can see (the resiliency) at this point in the season against a team that's been playing pretty well themselves, we're taking a step in the right direction," Knight said. "We just need to make sure that it's not a one-time thing, that we continue to build off this and get better."

Slowing down Faried could prove crucial for the Bucks, who are trying to win two in a row for the first time since March 17 and 19. The Nuggets have won 13 of their last 14 when Faried scores at least 13 points.

Faried had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his only matchup against Milwaukee, a 112-104 home win last Feb. 5.

He shot 11 of 13 on Monday.

"He came ready to play," coach Brian Shaw said. "He just brought it continuously. Tonight he was the Manimal and that's what we want to see every night."

Ty Lawson also came up big against the Clippers, posting 27 points in his first game back since missing two with a shoulder injury. Lawson averaged 24.0 points while shooting 54.2 percent in two games versus Milwaukee last season.

The Bucks are 1-16 against Western Conference opponents, with their only win coming 94-79 over the lowly Lakers on Dec. 31. Denver has dropped seven of 12 against the East after opening 5-0.

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