NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
New York 32 24 28 24 108
Denver 28 27 27 33 115
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 1, 2019
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 19,520

Nuggets go for third straight win against reeling Knicks

According to STATS
According to STATS

New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets

  1. The Knicks posted their season-high seventh consecutive defeat with a 129-97 loss in Utah on Saturday. New York has now lost 24 games in a row when scoring fewer than 100 points, and its 32-point loss was its largest since another 32-point defeat to the Cavaliers on December 7, 2016.
  2. Kevin Knox scored 17.1 points per game in December, the most by a Knicks rookie in a single month (minimum 10 games) since Patrick Ewing averaged 23.8 in January 1986.
  3. The Nuggets moved to 23-11 on the year with a 122-118 win over the Suns on Saturday. Denver is 8-2 in games decided by five points or fewer this season, tied with Sacramento for the NBA's best record.
  4. Jamal Murray scored 46 points in the win, the second most in a game in his career, while also adding six rebounds and eight assists. He is one of four players under the age of 25 with 600+ points, 150+ rebounds and 150+ assists this year (also Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic).
  5. New York's .243 win percentage is its second worst before the start of January in a single season in team history, besting only its .147 mark (5-29) in 2014-15. Denver's 23 pre-January wins are tied for the most in a single season in franchise history along with the 1976-77 team (23-10 record).
  6. The Nuggets have won 10 in a row when hosting the Knicks. That is Denver's second-longest active home win streak versus a single opponent (11 vs. Bulls) and is New York's longest active road losing streak against any team.

The Denver Nuggets are atop the Western Conference, have won two in a row and are getting healthier. The last thing they can afford to do is overlook a struggling, fractured New York team on New Year's Day.

The Nuggets (23-11) have lost these types of trap games in the past -- at home, against an inferior opponent. But this Denver team is different. It's one that plays good defense and can get scoring from multiple positions.

The Knicks (9-28) will try to derail the Nuggets and get their own season back on track. New York has lost seven straight and is dealing with some internal strife. The Knicks are coming off a blowout loss in Utah, a game in which the Jazz led by as many as 46, and forward Enes Kanter is unhappy with his role.

Kanter is a free agent at the end of this year and has come off the bench the last two games. According to Newsday, Kanter all but asked to be traded, adding to the upheaval.

"Hey, it happens," coach David Fizdale told Newsday. "Oh, trust me I have (been a part of losses like Saturday's). I went in with deeper teams, more veteran teams. But even the best teams I've been on even at home we've been smacked by 40. It happens in this league. It happens to the best of them.

"We've seen that numerous times already this year. My job is to keep these guys focused on getting better and every night coming out and competing."

Denver will see a familiar face on Tuesday night. New York point guard Emmanuel Mudiay was the Nuggets' first-round draft pick in 2015 and was thought to be the future at the position, but he was traded to the Knicks last season after Jamal Murray supplanted him.

Mudiay has had a revival this year with New York, averaging 14.2 points a game. He is questionable with a right ankle sprain.

If Mudiay can't play it will be tougher to stop the surging Nuggets. Denver has seven players averaging in double figures in scoring, with Murray leading at 18.6 points a game. Center Nikola Jokic is nearly averaging a triple-double with 18 points, 9.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game.

Denver sits atop the West despite dealing with a rash of injuries. Starters Will Barton, Gary Harris and Paul Millsap have missed multiple games, although Millsap returned from a broken right toe to score six points in 14 minutes against Phoenix on Saturday night.

Harris and Barton are close to returning. Guard Nick Young, who was signed under the injury exception in December, was waived on Sunday.

Getting Harris and Barton back soon would help considering Murray is playing on a sore ankle he rolled in a win over San Antonio on Friday night. He played through pain against the Suns, scoring 46 points and hitting a career-best nine 3-pointers.

"I ain't gonna lie to you guys. It hurts a lot," Murray told the Denver Post after Saturday's game. "I was trying not to move as much, kind of rely on my shot. I kept relying on it. As the game went on, more adrenaline started to kick in."

Updated December 31, 2018

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