Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/6/12
The Denver Nuggets know they caught a break when Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry decided to rest Steve Nash the last time these teams played. They're unlikely to be as fortunate this time with the Suns making a strong playoff push. Playing its first home game in more than two weeks, Denver goes for a fifth consecutive victory in this series Friday night while surging Phoenix tries to move back into playoff position. The Nuggets ended a five-game home losing streak with a 109-92 win over the Suns on Feb. 14, a victory that came with the star point guard out of the lineup. "Phoenix kind of gave us a some slack by not playing Nash," coach George Karl said after the Nuggets won for the eighth time in nine home games versus Phoenix (28-26). Back from a 4-3 trip that ended with a 94-92 loss to conference-worst New Orleans on Wednesday, the Nuggets (29-25) can expect to see plenty of Nash on Friday. Nash scored just 13 points in a 107-105 victory at Utah on Wednesday but hit two baskets in the final 14 seconds, including a lean-in jumper from the foul line with 1.7 seconds left. He was also one assist shy of reaching double digits for a fourth consecutive game. "You get the ball in his hands and you know he is going to get something good for his team," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "... He is a great player and he made great plays for them down the stretch." The Suns, winners of three straight and 16 of 23, need more production from Nash in their final 12 games as they try to avoid missing the postseason for the third time in four seasons. With a victory over Denver and a Rockets loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Phoenix would climb into a three-way tie for eighth place in the West. "We are gaining confidence and we believe that we can keep winning," said Nash, among the league leaders with 11.2 assists per game. The Nuggets like their chances of securing a ninth consecutive playoff berth, but their inconsistency could prevent that from happening. Denver defeated Eastern Conference-best Chicago and Orlando - which was without Dwight Howard - during its just-completed trip, but also lost to Toronto and the Hornets. The Nuggets' playoff hopes could also hinge on their play at home, as they've alternated losses and wins in their last eight games there. The Suns will complete their three-game trip by trying to win for the fifth time in six road games. Nash, averaging 17.6 points and 11.3 assists in his last eight games in Denver, may see plenty of Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson with backup Andre Miller's status questionable. Miller was ejected Wednesday for a flagrant-2 foul on New Orleans' Carl Landry. Veteran guard Michael Redd has led the Suns reserves with 14.0 points per game during the winning streak. He scored 20 on Feb. 14 while starting in place of Grant Hill, who was also given the night off to rest. Hill has missed the last five games with a torn right meniscus.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Report: Eric Berry to sign next week, be ready to play in Week 1

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

What's missing for each Premier Leauge team?

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker