National Basketball Association
Preview
New Orleans at Denver
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 26, 2017
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

The Denver Nuggets continue their quest to end a three-year playoff drought when they host the dangerous New Orleans Pelicans in a critical game on Sunday night. The Nuggets have won two in a row and six of eight to lead Portland by 1 ½ games for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference entering Saturday with five straight road contests looming after the matchup against the Pelicans.

Denver coach Michael Malone told reporters every outing down the stretch is a playoff game for his team and the Nuggets have posted at least 124 points in three consecutive contests after Friday’s 125-117 victory at Indiana. “That’s a big win for us on the road, and coming off a pretty good game against (Cleveland, 126-113 win),” Denver forward Wilson Chandler told the media. “We came out and were just aggressive again.” New Orleans is just 11-24 on the road and sits five games behind the Nuggets, but has played much better of late with five victories in its last seven contests despite a 117-107 loss at Houston on Friday. All-Star Anthony Davis comes in with four straight double-doubles and scored 50 against Denver in a 107-102 loss on Oct. 26 in the season opener for both teams.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, Altitude (Denver)

ABOUT THE PELICANS (30-42): Davis leads the team in scoring (27.8), rebounds (11.9) and blocks (2.2) while fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins has picked up his production - averaging 28.3 in his last three contests. Point guard Jrue Holiday (15.8 points, 7.2 assists) continues to put up solid numbers while shooting guard Jordan Crawford is averaging 13.6 points on 50.5 percent shooting (47.9 from beyond the arc) in nine games since being signed as a free agent. Small forward Solomon Hill is averaging nine points on 8-of-24 shooting in three games since scoring a career-high 30 on March 17.

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (35-37): Nikola Jokic recorded 30 points, 17 rebounds and five assists in Friday’s win, boasting seven double-doubles and three triple-doubles in the last 12 games. “It’s almost like you want to see what he does next,” Malone told reporters of the 6-10 Jokic. “The guy is a treat to watch and fun to play with. The scary thing is he’s only going to get better.” Leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (17.7 points) scored 21 and grabbed 11 rebounds Friday in his first game back from missing four with a knee injury while Chandler averaged 21 points in his last two contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Denver SG Gary Harris is averaging 19.2 points and shooting 58.9 percent from the field over the last five contests.

2. Holiday registered 36 assists and just six turnovers combined over the last five games.

3. Denver SG Will Barton drained 19 shots from 3-point range the last six games while averaging 20.2 points.

PREDICTION: Pelicans 102, Nuggets 94
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
New Orleans 30-42 L1 19-18 11-24 1-3 29-39 5-10 16-27
Denver 35-37 W2 20-17 14-20 2-1 33-36 5-8 20-24
Last Meeting
New Orleans Denver
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
10/26/16 DEN 107 NO 102 102 33 41.3 107 58 44.6
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New Orleans A. Davis 50 50.0 16
Denver J. Nurkic 23 69.2 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New Orleans A. Davis 15 1 14
Denver K. Faried 14 6 8
Assists Player  
New Orleans T. Frazier 11
Denver E. Mudiay 3
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
New Orleans A. Davis 1970 49.8 501
Denver N. Jokic 1109 58.1 175
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
New Orleans A. Davis 835 165 670
Denver N. Jokic 651 201 450
Assists Player  
New Orleans J. Holiday 413
Denver J. Nelson 383
Quickchart Matchup
New Orleans New Orleans Off vs  Denver Denver Defense
New Orleans Off vs Denver - Points For 103.6 Points For
New Orleans Off vs Denver - Points Against 111.1 Points Against
New Orleans - FG% 44.7 FG%
Denver - FG% 47.9 FG%
New Orleans - Reb 44.1 Reb
Denver - Reb 40.1 Reb
Denver Denver Off vs  New Orleans New Orleans Defense
Denver Off vs New Orleans - Points For 111.7 Points For
Denver Off vs New Orleans - Points Against 105.8 Points Against
Denver - FG% 46.9 FG%
New Orleans - FG% 44.7 FG%
Denver - Reb 46.2 Reb
New Orleans - Reb 48.3 Reb