||02-03-2007 09:43 PM
Originally Posted by NBA.com
Kings Look to Continue Recent Succes Against Nuggets
By DAN BURCH, STATS Writer=
Posted Feb 3 2007 8:56AM
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The last time the Denver Nuggets came away with a road victory against the Sacramento Kings, Allen Iverson was an NBA rookie while Carmelo Anthony was 12 years old.
The Nuggets will have to play without Iverson as they try to end that stretch of futility when they visit the Kings on Saturday.
It's been 10 years and 19 straight losses since Denver came to Arco Arena and left with a victory, a 109-96 win on Jan. 7, 1997. Iverson was playing for Philadelphia at the time while Anthony had yet to enter high school. Sacramento has won 27 of its last 30 at home against Denver and has generally controlled the series against the Nuggets. The Kings have won four straight and 16 of the last 20 overall between the teams.
Sacramento's 19-game home winning streak against the Nuggets is the longest current streak of its kind in the NBA.
However, Anthony will be without the help of Iverson - who didn't make the trip and will miss his third straight game with a sprained ankle and the flu - as he tries to change Denver's fortunes, especially with the Kings uncharacteristically struggling at home. Sacramento is just 12-11 at Arco Arena after going 27-14 last season and 30-11 in 2004-05. The Kings haven't posted a losing record at home since going 20-21 in 1993-94.
Sacramento (18-26) has won two straight there after losing four in a row, and returns home to face Denver for the start of a three-game homestand. The Kings went 1-3 on a road trip, winning the final game 100-98 over Minnesota on Wednesday. Kevin Martin scored 28 points and hit the go-ahead jumper with 16.6 seconds remaining.
"You're seeing the maturation of a player who is now becoming a go-to guy," Kings coach Eric Musselman said. "Not only does the coaching staff have a lot of confidence in him, but more importantly his teammates do."
Musselman will miss this game and Monday's contest against New Orleans after being suspended by the NBA for his DUI arrest on Oct. 21.
"As I've stated in the past, I made a mistake and take full responsibility," Musselman said in a statement. "Hopefully, this will provide closure on the matter.
"In my absence, Scott Brooks will coach the team. I have the utmost confidence in our coaching staff, and I look forward to returning to the sidelines when the suspension is over. Under the suspension guidelines, I am allowed to coach practices and shootarounds, which I plan on doing."
Anthony - snubbed for the All-Star team when reserves were announced Thursday - took out his frustrations on Portland, scoring 33 points to help the Nuggets snap a four-game losing streak with a 114-107 overtime victory over the Blazers on Friday.
Nene had a season-high 20 points while Steve Blake had 19 and a career-high 14 assists for Denver (23-21), which had lost to Portland two days earlier.
"If I tell you that I wasn't thinking about it, I'd be lying to you," said Anthony, who leads the NBA in scoring at 31.3 points per game. "It was in the back of my mind. I was thinking about it all day, about what more could I possibly do. But I will remain optimistic. (Commissioner) David Stern has a decision to make and we shall see what happens."
The Kings beat the Nuggets 101-96 on Dec. 22 in Denver, ruining Iverson's first game in a Nuggets uniform. He had 22 points and 10 assists, but John Salmons recorded his first career triple-double for Sacramento, with 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited
Don't think AI's playing. Game should be winnable with no Musselman. Not sure we SHOULD win, actually we shouldn't because I want Wright/Durant/Oden/Horford and some trades made. This team we have right now isn't going anywhere.
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