NBA Houston Rockets vs Denver Nuggets Preview

Preview: Rockets at Nuggets

The Carmelo Anthony saga is in high-drama mode as the Houston Rockets visit the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. Anthony will miss his third straight game due to what the team is terming an “illness” while news reports claim he won’t play again for the Rockets.

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Anthony appears to be done with Houston after averaging 13.4 points over 10 games while struggling to fit in as a reserve for the first time in his career. Close friend Chris Paul of the Rockets said “Melo’s been great, working hard every day,” but the quick decision by the organization to move on speaks volumes. Denver’s stunning 9-1 start has been followed with three straight setbacks and the squad was outclassed 121-114 by the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday. “This is our first little bit of adversity, so we have respond,” center Mason Plumlee told reporters. “We have to come out and play really well our next home game.”

TV: 9 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Houston), Altitude (Denver)

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (5-7): Houston had the offense clicking during Sunday’s 115-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers and guard James Harden poured in a season-best 40 points. Harden connected on eight 3-pointers during the contest and has tallied 25 or more points in four of the last five games. “When we’re like that, we’re going to score a bunch of points,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters. “And if … our defense can keep improving then we’re the team that we want to be.”

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (9-4): The Denver slide began with two-point losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets. and coach Michael Malone’s frustration level grew with the loss to the Bucks. “I just hate the fact that the way we’ve closed the games,” Malone told reporters. “Forget the wins and losses. But if somebody’s going to beat you, make them beat you and I feel like we’re really contributing to our own demise right now.” Power forward Paul Millsap had his best game of the season Sunday, making five 3-pointers while registering 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Rockets went 3-0 against the Nuggets last season and have won the past seven meetings.

2. Denver C Nikola Jokic is averaging 28.5 points over the past two games after putting up 5.8 over the previous four outings.

3. Houston C Clint Capela (knee) is expected to play after being injured Sunday but SG Gerald Green (ankle) will miss his second straight game.

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