Nuggets Vs. Houston: Carmelo Anthony Looks To Send Houston To Third Loss Of Season

(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets hope to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 1999-00 campaign, as they entertain the Denver Nuggets in their home opener this evening from the Toyota Center.

The Rockets have dropped back-to-back road games to the Lakers and Warriors to kick off the new season, matching the 0-2 start by the 2004-05 squad. They haven't started a season with three straight losses since kicking off the 1999-00 season with five consecutive defeats.

In Wednesday's 132-128 loss at Golden State, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry scored 46 and 25 points, respectively, to scorch the Rockets, who got 36 points and 16 rebounds from Luis Scola. Kevin Martin tallied 28 points and Chuck Hayes netted 16 in defeat.

"We ran up against a good offensive team and they shot the ball lights out," said Houston guard Aaron Brooks, who finished with 13 points and seven assists. "We could have played better defense but credit to them, they were feeling it. At times we broke down but they just made shots."

In injury news for the Rockets, guard Kyle Lowry is listed as questionable for Saturday's game due to back spasms. Houston is back at home for two games versus the Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets.

Denver opened the new season with a home win versus Utah, but suffered a 101-95 loss at New Orleans Friday night.

Despite his request to be traded, Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and grabbed 10 boards to lead the Nuggets, who already have a three-year, $65 million extension on the table for the former Syracuse star. Anthony wants to be dealt to an east coast team such as the Knicks, Nets or Bulls.

Chauncey Billups had 20 points and J.R. Smith netted 12 off the bench in a losing effort.

"We did pretty well, but we made too many mistakes late in the game; too many turnovers in the fourth quarter," said Denver head coach George Karl, who is back on the bench after a bout with neck and throat cancer. "They scored almost 30 points off our mistakes. We didn't rebound with a passion on offense. We tried to make too many tough shots. In general, we put up a pretty good fight for a road game."

The Nuggets won two of three meetings with Houston last season and has lost five of six trips to the Toyota Center. The Rockets are 10-6 in the last 16 meetings with Denver.

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