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Nuggets Schedule 2012: Denver To Face Four Tough Opponents

The Denver Nuggets have no cupcakes this week as they fight for playoff position, which may actually be a good thing considering recent losses to the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets will face three teams within a few games of them in the West standings, plus an Eastern conference powerhouse.

Monday, April 16: at Houston Rockets (6:00 p.m. MT, ALT)

The Nuggets beat the Rockets by 15 on Sunday night in Denver to jump above them and into the No. 7 slot in the West, but Monday night's game remains a large one. If the Rockets get back a win, the two teams will once again be tied. But if Denver wins, they'll find themselves up two games on the Rockets with five to play.

Wednesday, April 18: at Los Angeles Clippers (7:00 p.m. MT, ALT)

It's unlikely that the Nuggets can catch the Clippers— who currently occupy the West's fourth seed— but if anything this game will be a solid measuring stick for Denver, as they go up against a team that some consider to be a legitimate NBA Finals contender.

Saturday, April 21: at Phoenix Suns (3:30 p.m. MT, ALT/ESPN)

The Suns are currently a game back of Houston for the eighth seed and two back of Denver for the seventh, so this game could have serious playoff implications. If the Suns have a rough week, Denver may have a chance to put the final nail in their coffin, or they may find themselves furiously fighting back the streaking Suns.

Sunday, April 22: vs Orlando Magic (6:00 p.m. MT, ALT)

The Nuggets will supposedly be without star center Dwight Howard, who is sitting out with a back injury, but they may be forced to throw him into the action if their position in the East standings begins to slip any further.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more in-depth coverage, head over to Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs. And for updates from around the league, check out SB Nation's NBA news hub.