Nuggets target a win vs. visiting Rockets

The suddenly shaky Denver Nuggets will try to avoid a high third straight loss tonight when they welcome the Houston Rockets to Pepsi Center.

The Nuggets, who are opening up a three-game homestand, have dropped four of five overall after Saturday's 117-97 setback in Portland. Danilo Gallinari netted 20 points while Kosta Koufos finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in that one for Denver.

"They're one of the best home teams in basketball. The times we played them, they're a top-five team. They've played great," Nuggets head coach George Karl said of the Blazers.

Denver, which is 7-4 in the Rockies this season, will also host Dallas and Golden State on its residency.

The Rockets, who are resuming a six-game road trip tonight, have also hit the skids a bit recently, losing for the third time in four games on Saturday in the opener of the trek in Minnesota, 100-91.

Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry scored 24 points apiece for the Rockets and Patrick Patterson had 14 off the bench in that one as the Timberwolves snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Rockets at home and won for only the third time in the last 18 meetings overall.

"We just started out with no defensive intensity," Houston coach Kevin McHale told the team's website. "We can't be a pretty team, we can't be a team that just goes out there and plays easy; we've got to be a team that's going to go out there and fight like we did when we got mad."

The Rockets are just 3-8 on the road and will also visit Portland, Phoenix, Golden State and Memphis before returning to South Texas.

These two teams split four meetings a season ago, with Houston winning the last two.