Nuggets resume lengthy homestand vs. Grizzlies

A pair of Western Conference contenders will jockey for playoff position in the Rockies Sunday when the Denver Nuggets entertain the Memphis Grizzlies at Pepsi Center.

The Grizzlies are currently the fifth seed in the West, a game ahead of Denver, after losing for the first time in six games on Saturday, a 98-91 setback to the Phoenix Suns in the desert.

All-Star Marc Gasol finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists in that one while Rudy Gay scored 19 for the Grizzles, who will be finishing up a brief three-game road trip tonight.

"They started hitting shots, they got out on the fast break and basically just scored off our mistakes; we made a lot of them so they had a lot of chances to score," remarked Gay after the loss.

The Nuggets, meanwhile, are in the midst of a season-long nine-game homestand. They improved to 2-1 on the residency Friday when Arron Afflalo scored 28 points as Denver downed the lowly New Orleans Hornets, 110-97.

Al Harrington added 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Ty Lawson finished with 11 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets, who won for the fifth time in six games.

"We need to get more energy in the building," said Afflalo after the game, "and that starts on the defensive end, getting some fastbreaks, some dunks, some energy plays that allow us to be the team we want to be."

Denver, which is 12-9 at home, will also entertain Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Boston, Dallas and Detroit on its long residency.

The Grizzlies have already won two tight games over the Nuggets in Memphis this season.

"We need to pay Memphis because they stole (games) twice," Denver power forward Nene told the Nuggets' website. "We need to come in here with a lot of hustle, energy and play hard. We hope the fans support us with a lot of energy and enthusiasm to help us win the next game."