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Suns Vs. Nuggets Preview: Denver Returns Home For Big Game Against Phoenix

The Denver Nuggets (29-25, 15-12 home) are coming off a grueling seven-game road trip where they dropped four contests and are licking their wounds after Wednesday's 94-92 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, but things don't get any easier when they host the Phoenix Suns (28-26, 12-15 away) on Friday night. The game has serious implications in the Western Conference playoff race as well. The Nuggets are the No. 8 seed at the moment, but they hold a tenuous one-game lead over the Suns, so a Phoenix win would flip the script.

Steve Nash and Grant Hill missed the last head-to-head meeting, but with the Suns in the thick of the playoff picture Nash will be in the starting lineup while Hill is still out with a knee injury. As for the Nuggets injury report, I will defer to the lighthearted rundown by Colin Neilson of Nuggets blog Denver Stiffs:

Denver: Danilo Gallinari (fractured left thumb) is out. Wilson Chandler (strained groin) is day-to-day. Corey Brewer (broken jumper), Timofey Mozgov (broken confidence),"Anre" Miller (broken defense) and JaVale McGee (broken brain) are all probable. Rudy Fernandez (fired into sun via cannon) is out.

Game time: 7:00 p.m. MT; Friday, April 6, 2012

Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

TV: Altitude

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.