Denver at Boston Celtics
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, March 18, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
The Denver Nuggets swept a three-game home stand but didn’t make things easy on themselves with a pair of last-second victories. Things won’t get much easier when the Nuggets begin a four-game road trip on Monday, starting with a trip to see the Boston Celtics.
Nikola Jokic lofted in the last-second game-winner in a 100-99 triumph over Dallas on Thursday and Paul Millsap’s floater provided the winning margin in Saturday’s 102-100 win over the Indiana Pacers as Denver stayed in the running for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. “It comes down to effort,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters. “If you play hard and have pride, you have a chance to be a good defensive team. We settled down and made some defensive adjustments, and the guys on the floor owned it.” The Celtics are in their own fight for postseason positioning and sit in the No. 5 spot in the East despite wins in five of the last six games. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving came within an assist of a triple-double on Saturday to help Boston hold off the Atlanta Hawks in a 129-120 triumph.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Denver), NBCS Boston
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (46-22): Denver improved its home record to 30-6 with Saturday’s win but will need to do the bulk of its damage on the road the rest of the way if it hopes to overtake the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the West. The Nuggets will play nine of their final 14 games on the road, including trips to Golden State, Houston, Oklahoma City, Portland and Utah. “Going into the season, it was just make the playoffs, but now it’s let’s fight for a No. 1 seed, let’s fight for home-court advantage, and see where that can take us,” Malone told reporters. “We still have a lot of very difficult games left, but one game at a time. I love the mind-set of our players right now. No one is satisfied with just being a playoff team.”
ABOUT THE CELTICS (43-27): Irving collected 31 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a win over Sacramento to open the homestand on Thursday and finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in Saturday’s triumph. “I’m just trying to play the game the right way, play with just unbelievable effort, making sure I’m getting guys involved, but staying aggressive looking for my shot,” Irving told reporters. “As I do that more it starts to open up for my teammates.” Shooting guard Jaylen Brown continued his hot streak with 23 points off the bench against the Hawks – his third consecutive 20-plus effort.
1. Celtics SF Gordon Hayward (neck) and C Al Horford (knee) both left Saturday’s game and are day-to-day.
2. Jokic scored 26 points on Saturday but was ejected in the fourth quarter for arguing.
3. Denver knocked off Boston 115-107 at home on Nov. 5 behind 48 points from point guard Jamal Murray.