Need For a Quick Rebound

A career-high scoring night from J.R. Smith couldn't make up for one of the Denver Nuggets' worst defensive efforts of the season last game.

The Nuggets will try to rebound quickly as they visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday in another matchup against a struggling Eastern Conference team.

Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Denver -3 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 212 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 77% of bets for this game have been placed on Denver -3 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Denver (33-21) lost for the second time in three games Friday, falling 135-121 to the Chicago Bulls. The Nuggets have dropped back-to-back road games after winning the previous four, and they are 11-15 away from home.

Smith, who was averaging just 9.8 points, scored a career-high 43 points on 15-of-25 shooting and helped cut a 23-point deficit to four early in the fourth quarter, but Chicago went on a 14-3 run after that to put away the game.

Smith hit eight 3-pointers and added five rebounds, Allen Iverson scored 29 points and had nine assists, and Carmelo Anthony added 22 points and eight rebounds.

Denver allowed the Bulls to shoot 57.1 percent from the field - the second-highest percentage an opponent has shot against the Nuggets. The 135 points were also the second-most they've allowed, trailing only a 137-115 loss at Phoenix on Jan. 7.

While the Nuggets are one of the league's worst defensive teams - giving up 104.8 points per game - those struggles have been magnified on the road, where they have yielded 109.0 per contest. Denver has held just five teams below 100 in its 26 road games, and allowing teams to shoot 46.7 percent.

Although coach George Karl said Denver did not "respect" the Bulls, who are 10 games below .500, the players insisted that was not the case.

"Respect has nothing to do with this game," Anthony said. "They came out shooting 150 percent from the field tonight."

The Nuggets will try to avoid a similarly poor performance against another struggling team in the Central Division.

The Bucks (20-35) lost for the fifth time in six games Friday, falling 127-100 to the Detroit Pistons. Milwaukee, which had beaten Detroit 103-98 two days earlier, was outscored 32-11 in the second quarter and never recovered in losing by at least 25 points for the seventh time.

"It's embarrassing to lose games by that kind of margin - we know we're better than that," Desmond Mason said.

Charlie Villanueva and Michael Redd each scored 18 for the Bucks. Redd had scored 27 points in Wednesday's victory.

Denver, which has won four straight in Milwaukee, had its best scoring output of the season in a 125-105 rout of the Bucks on Dec. 26. Anthony had 29 points to lead seven players in double figures for the Nuggets, who shot 54.7 percent and are trying to sweep the series for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Updated NBA Finals Odds After a busy week with the NBA Draft taking place, which team improved their odds to win the 2018 NBA Finals?
Thumbnail Will Fox be a top-5 pick? With the 2017 NBA Drafttakes place later tonight. Where can we expect one of the top prospects, De’Aaron Fox, to land tonight?
Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...

NBA Headlines

  • OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A year ago, uncertainty surrounded Russell Westbrook.
    Kevin Durant stunned the league by leaving Oklahoma City for rival Golden State in free agency. The four-time scoring ...
  • NEW YORK (AP) DeShawn Stevenson nailed the shot, ran toward the sideline and slapped hands with Ice Cube.
    Stevenson had a winner, and Cube might, too.
    The only thing the rapper-actor's n...
  • NEW YORK (AP) Basketball's newest league started with a game-winning basket and an injured former NBA player.
    Rashard Lewis made a three-point play with his team facing game point Sunday in t...
  • ATHENS, Greece (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo is dreaming big. He wants to beat the United States wearing Greek team colors.
    ''I'll be the next one to beat them. I'll be waiting for them somewher...
  • PHILADELPHIA (AP) Markelle Fultz already has his first turnover as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
    It came in an Instagram post sponsored by a watch company. ''Excited to head to (City) a...

NBA Team Pages