Challenge Awaits

The Denver Nuggets haven't had any trouble scoring - or winning - in the last three games. Continuing both trends, though, could be a challenge in Detroit.

The Nuggets look to push their win streak to four Tuesday when they take on the Pistons at The Palace, where they haven't won in their last 11 visits.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Detroit -6 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 208.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -6 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Nuggets (40-26) haven't beaten the Pistons (48-18) in Detroit since March 10, 1995, averaging 78.5 points and getting outscored by nearly 19 points per game in the 11 straight losses. Denver, though, has blown out its last three opponents by an average of 35.3 points, and set a franchise record for points in a regulation game with a 168-116 victory over Seattle on Sunday.

The Nuggets' 168 points were an NBA-season high, exceeding their own total of Feb. 27 by 30. Denver fell shy of the team record for points in a game by 16.

"A lot of people are going to think it's a misprint," said forward Kenyon Martin, who had 23 points and eight rebounds. "A lot of people will think there's no way they scored that many points. It's unbelievable. There are no words for it."

Denver shot 60.4 percent from the field, hit 16 3-pointers and had 44 assists. The Nuggets scored 48 points in the first quarter and led 84-58 at the half.

Eight Nuggets scored in double figures, led by Carmelo Anthony with 26 and Allen Iverson with 24. Marcus Camby recorded his fourth career triple double and second this season with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.

Despite the offensive surge and five wins in their last seven games, Denver still isn't in playoff position, sitting 1 1/2 games behind Golden State for the final spot in the West. The Nuggets begin a five-game road trip Tuesday, with the first four coming against Eastern Conference teams.

"We know it's not going to be that easy as we embark on this road trip," Camby said. "The next week is probably going to define our season, we have to come out with the right mindset Tuesday."

That's when they'll face a Pistons club that's held West opponents to 89.6 points per game this season.

Detroit has clinched a playoff spot and is looking to win its third in a row Tuesday. The Pistons are coming off a 105-84 victory over New Orleans on Sunday, as Jarvis Hayes tied a career high with 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

The Pistons shot 52.7 percent from the field and hit 14 3-pointers - seven by Hayes.

"I got after Jarvis after the San Antonio game on Friday because he was passing up open shots," said guard Chauncey Billups, who scored 17 points. "I told him that shooting is what he does best - he's the best shooter on the team, and we need him to let it go. He was awesome today."

Detroit improved to 22-6 at home this season and will be closing a five-game homestand Tuesday. While the Pistons are in the playoffs, they're trying to catch Boston for the No. 1 seed in the East.

"We have to take care of things at home when we have the home-court advantage," forward Jason Maxiell said.

The Pistons beat the Nuggets 98-93 on Feb. 25 in Denver for their third straight win in the series.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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