The Denver Nuggets (14-6) saw their six-game winning streak end against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, but the second place team in the Western Conference standings will try to get themselves back on track against the scuffling Memphis Grizzlies (10-10) on Tuesday night. Memphis has lost four consecutive games -- none of those by more than 10 points -- while Denver attempts to win their sixth straight road game for the first time in 24 seasons.
Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson will be a game-time decision (ankle), and is the unquestioned leader of the NBA's fastest and most-efficient offense, but veteran backup Andre Miller has been performing well in his absence. Miller has played over 30 minutes in the Nuggets' last four games, and has responded with four double-doubles with points and assists. Other hot players for Denver include Danilo Gallinari (20-plus points in four of the last five games) and Al Harrington (10-plus points off the bench in nine of the last ten games).
As for the Grizzlies, they have yet to stabilize after losing Zach Randolph to injury and are hoping to avoid dropping below .500 for the second time this season. Much of the scoring load has fallen to Rudy Gay, as explained by SB Nation's Grizzlies blog, Straight Outta Vancouver:
Before suffering a season-ending left-shoulder subluxation last season, Gay averaged 19.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.68 steals in 39.9 minutes played. Since returning this season, Rudy is playing as if he hasn't missed a day. Averaging a team-high 18.7 points (17th int he NBA) and 6.2 rebounds with two double-doubles, the 6'8", 230 lb forward has made his presence felt.
It was a different story for Gay last night, however. In 35 minutes played, Gay only scored 1 point. If Rudy plans to go toe-to-toe with Gallinari, he's going to have to be more of an offensive presence. Furthermore, if Ty Lawson doesn't play, Mike Conley has a favorable matchup against Afflalo - the one-two punch of Conley and Gay, when they're in sync, is a deadly one. Keywords: when they're in sync.
Here is some information to help you find the game on Tuesday night:
Game day/time: 6:00 PM MT, January 31, 2012
Location: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
TV: Altitude 2, NBA TV
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage of the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs. Grizzlies news and analysis is available at Straight Outta Vancouver. And for more news and notes from around the NBA, head over to SB Nation's NBA news hub.