In the second and final meeting of the regular season, the Nuggets will host the Washington Wizards tonight in the Pepsi Center.
In our last meeting, we had a 92-85 loss to the Wizards in Washington. Denver was led by Nikola Jokic, who had 17 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist. Danilo Gallinari was the leading starting scorer with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and a single dime.
In our last meeting on December 8th, the second night of a back-to-back, the Nuggets’ starting lineup consisted of Darrell Arthur, Danilo Gallinari, Jusuf Nurkic, Jameer Nelson, and Will Barton. Tonight, the lineup will consist of Jokic, Gallinari, Nelson, Chandler, and Gary Harris.
In December, the Nuggets led the Wizards at the half 52-47, but then the momentum changed in the second half when they overcame their deficit and took the game, 92-85. That night, Denver had 29 (yes, you read that right) turnovers, which did not help with the loss.
Denver will get it’s chance for revenge tonight. The Wizards are on their second night of a back-to-back following a 131-127 win over the Suns and the Nuggets had yesterday off following a 108-96 win over Sacramento.
If the Nuggets get stops tonight the way that they were doing on Monday night against Sacramento, they could very well take the W tonight over Washington. Defense, as always, is a must if Denver wants to get this win and a lead over Portland for the eighth.
After having a sluggish start to their season, the Wizards are now 38-24 on the season and are third in the East, just four games behind Cleveland in the first. Denver, 29-34, continues to keep it’s hold on the eighth and final seed in the West.
After Portland’s win tonight, Denver sits a game and a half ahead of the Trail Blazers and two games ahead of Dallas.
Nuggets Stats: Wizards Stats:
FG%: 46.4 FG%: 47.3
RPG: 46.4 RPG: 42.9
Last 10: 5-5 Last 10: 7-3
Keys to the Game, Courtesy of Sean English:
- Bring the energy. The Wizards are on the second night of a back-to-back.
- The Nuggets and Wizards are both top 5 in points per game. While this could very well be a shootout, the team that gets stops down the stretch will have the advantage.
- Mason Plumlee. With Jokic out against the Kings, Plumlee had himself a game scoring 10 points, grabbing 12 rebounds along with 5 assists. The Nuggets need continuity for the second unit.
Kenneth Faried (back) OUT
Danilo Gallinari (vertigo) OUT
Nikola Jokic (illness) OUT
no known injuries