Nuggets Look for 5th Straight at Nets

The Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets are both playing like they don't want to give up their playoff spots.

After an impressive victory over one of the NBA's top teams, the Nuggets look to match their longest winning streak of the season when they conclude their season series with the Nets on Tuesday night.

Denver (33-31) beat Phoenix 131-107 on Saturday night for its fourth straight win.

Oddsmakers have made New Jersey -1 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 209.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Denver+1

(View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Nuggets, who are beginning a five-game road trip, have won five straight twice this season.

"This does a lot for our confidence," said Denver guard Allen Iverson, who had 44 points and 15 assists against the Suns. "To win four games in a row, you get a certain swagger about your game."

Denver is in seventh place in the Western Conference, three games ahead of Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot, but has struggled against the Nets (31-36) in recent years.

The Nuggets have lost four straight and nine of 10 to New Jersey, with their only victory in that span a 90-88 home win on Nov. 23, 2004. They have dropped six consecutive visits to Continental Airlines Arena, where they have not won since March 26, 2000.

Behind strong play from its two superstars, Denver has been consistent lately after struggling all season to get any cohesion because of injuries, trades and suspensions.

Carmelo Anthony added 29 points Saturday, teaming up with Iverson for the duo's best performance since the Nuggets acquired Iverson from Philadelphia in December. The tandem combined to make 29 of 42 shots from the field against the Pacific Division-leading Suns.

"To beat a team like that is really a great deal for us," Anthony said. "So we can take that momentum from this game and from the previous three games and take it on the road with us."

Iverson is averaging 34.7 points in his last seven games against the Nets, but was held to 18 on 6-of-19 shooting in Denver's 112-102 loss to New Jersey on Jan. 27. Vince Carter scored 40 points for the Nets in that matchup.

Anthony is averaging 17.4 points - nearly seven below his career average - in seven games against the Nets.

The Nets have bounced back from a five-game losing streak by winning three of four, and are in seventh place in the East.

New Jersey, which will be playing the finale of a three-game homestand, is coming off a 101-95 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.

Jason Kidd had 23 points and 13 assists and the Nets forced 18 turnovers, including two in the final 2:14. New Jersey has held its last two opponents under 100 points.

"There is no better time to start than now because of the importance of every game," Kidd said of the team's defensive improvement.

Carter added 22 points and Richard Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds to help the Nets remain in a playoff position with 15 regular-season games remaining.

Nets forward Clifford Robinson sat out Sunday's game with a knee injury, and is listed as day-to-day.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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