Nuggets welcome Celtics to Pepsi Center

The Denver Nuggets will continue a nine-game homestand this evening versus the traveling Boston Celtics at the Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets have so far alternated wins and losses through the first six installments of the homestand and dropped a 103-90 decision to the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Andre Miller led Denver with 17 points off the bench and Danilo Gallinari had 15 for the Nuggets, who traded veteran forward Nene before the game.

Nene was dealt to the Washington Wizards in a three-team trade that also involved the Los Angeles Clippers. In return for Nene, Denver got big men JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf from the Wizards. Nene played just 28 of a possible 43 games for Denver this season because of injuries, and is averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds this season.

"Nene has been an important part of our franchise over the past 10 years," said Nuggets executive VP of basketball operations Masai Ujiri in a statement, "and we want to thank him for everything he has done in his time here. We wish him and his family all the best in the future."

Denver, currently eighth in the West, is 13-11 in the Rocky Mountains this season and will also host Dallas and Detroit on the homestand. In injury news for the Nuggets, forward Al Harrington (knee) is questionable.

McGee could make his debut tonight and posted averages of 11.9 points and 8.8 rebounds with Washington. Turiaf is currently dealing with a broken left hand and a timetable for his return is unknown.

Boston will celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Rockies and is 2-2 so far on an eight-game road trip. It is coming off a rough 120-95 loss in Sacramento last night, as Ray Allen led the way with 26 points and Paul Pierce netted 19 in defeat.

Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett ended with 16 and 10 points, respectively, for the Celtics, who are 7-12 away from Beantown and entered the game having won two straight and eight of 10 contests. Boston was killed on the glass by a 45-28 margin and shot 45 percent from the field. It only made 6 of 19 shots from three-point range and was outscored, 41-23, in the third quarter.

"We didn't come out with the defensive attitude that we needed to," Pierce said after the game.

The Celtics will head back east following tonight's game and will resume the road swing against Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. They currently sit just 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the Atlantic Division lead and are seventh in the conference.

Boston and Denver will meet for the only time this season and the two teams split a home-and-home set a year ago. Boston has won three of the last five meetings between the teams, but has dropped two straight and six of the past seven matchups at the Pepsi Center.