Two streaks are on the line as the Denver Nuggets host the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday night at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets (12-6) are currently riding a six game winning streak -- which extends back to a November 20 victory over the New Jersey Nets. The Nuggets have also won 23 of the past 24 home games against the Grizzlies (8-12) outpacing Memphis by an average 11.4 per game.
During the current win streak, Nuggets forward J.R. Smith has started to emerge as a go-to player, averaging 23.7 points per game over the past three games. Smith is also averaging 28 points over the past two games against the Grizz.
The Nuggets are paced by Carmelo Anthony and his 23.3 ppg and 8.1 rebounds per game. Chauncey Billups leads the team with 5.2 assists per game.
The Nuggets leading shot blocker, Chris Andersen, the Birdman, is questionable tonight after bruising his back during Friday night's win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Bird, who missed the first 13 games of the season due to injury, told denvernuggets.com
"I knew I was tipping over, so I tried to brace. I'm the Bird, not a cat."
A Nuggets win will bring head coach George Karl one win away from the 1000 win milestone. Karl, who sits at 998 career wins, would be the seventh coach to reach the plateau.
Memphis has a good nucleus of young talent, but in today's NBA it takes talent and experience to win.
Rudy Gay, the fourth year pro out of Connecticut, leads the team with a 21.6 ppg average. The other starters are rookie Xavier Henry, second year pro Marc Gasol and third year man Mike Conley. Combined they have one more year of experience than their man in the middle, Zach Randolph, in his ninth year.
The Nuggets are expected to start Melo, Billups, Nene, Shelden Williams and Arron Afflalo.
Tip is at 6 p.m. MT and can be seen on Altitude.