Suns-Nuggets Preview

The Associated Press

Having snapped an overall five-game skid with a win on the road, the Denver Nuggets are hoping to carry the positive momentum over onto their own court.

Denver seeks to snap its longest home losing streak in nine seasons Tuesday night when it faces the Phoenix Suns, who have lost seven of their last eight visits to the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets (16-12), who entered Saturday having been outscored by an average of 10.2 points during a five-game losing streak, seemed to put their woes behind them with a much-needed 113-109 victory at Indiana.

Ty Lawson scored 27 points, Arron Afflalo added 23, and Corey Brewer returned from a three-game absence due to the death of his father to post 19.

"We've lost a few games in a row and now we have to get back on the winning streak," said Brewer, who could draw a second consecutive start Tuesday. "We've got one. Time to get two or three or more."

Denver might settle for a solitary win at home, where it's lost five straight for the first time since a seven-game skid Feb. 6-March 2, 2003.

"Our opponents have been coming in here with more energy than us," Afflalo told the team's official website. "It's got to be the opposite. We have to feed off the crowd and take pride in defending our home court."

The Nuggets have to like their chances at home versus the Suns (12-16). Denver has averaged 121.8 points while taking seven of its last eight home games in the series, including a 132-98 win Jan. 11, 2011, behind a career-high 31 points from Afflalo. The Nuggets have also won three straight in the series overall.

With leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (chip fracture in left foot) sidelined, Afflalo seems to have taken it upon himself to pick up the slack. He scored a season-high 26 points in Thursday's 109-101 loss to Golden State before making 8 of 11 shots in the win over the Pacers.

"Those are the first two back-to-back games that we saw Afflalo give us what we know he can give us," coach George Karl told the Nuggets' official website. "We've never lost faith in Arron. We know Arron's going to be a good player for us and we want him to get back to that level as soon as possible - and then maybe a little bit better by the end of the year."

Phoenix lost 102-96 at Golden State on Monday, dropping the opener of its first back-to-back-to-back stretch of the season. The Suns led by as many as 12 points early on but couldn't keep up with the Warriors when it mattered most.

"You've got to finish games," coach Alvin Gentry said. "We did a terrible job of finishing the game."

Marcin Gortat had 25 points and 12 rebounds while Steve Nash recorded seven points and 14 assists. Nash is averaging 12.3 assists over his last six games, posting at least 10 in each.

Channing Frye scored 18 points, continuing his recent impressive play. He's averaging 17.8 in his last five contests.

The Nuggets could be playing this contest without Nene, who is day-to-day with a left calf injury. Starting center Timofey Mozgov (ankle), meanwhile, is expected to miss a sixth straight game. Kosta Koufos started in his place Saturday and finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

The Suns conclude their back-to-back-to-back set Wednesday at home versus Atlanta.

What to Read Next