Sixers-Nuggets: 5 things you need to know

Sixers-Nuggets: 5 things you need to know
January 1, 2014, 1:00 pm
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The Sixers (9-21) will go for back-to-back road wins for the first time all season when they open 2014 against the Denver Nuggets (14-16).

Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. at the Pepsi Center (CSN).

Let’s take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Going for an encore
The Sixers picked up their second road win of the season on Sunday night over the Los Angeles Lakers to snap their 13-game road skid. They enter Denver seeking consecutive victories away from home for the first time this season and back-to-back wins overall for the first time since Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.

Denver is ordinarily one of the tougher environments for an opponent to walk out of with a win, considering the Pepsi Center’s high altitude and home crowd advantages. However, that hasn’t been the case this season.

The Nuggets, who had the best home record in the NBA last year at 38-3, are just 7-7 in their own gym this season. They’ve lost their last four games at home and seven straight overall, their longest losing skid in 11 years.

Denver, known for its high-octane offense in recent seasons, is averaging just 91.8 points during its home skid.

2. Young and in charge
If the Sixers are going to come away with a win in the Rocky Mountains, Thaddeus Young will likely be the one leading the way.

Young has been coming on strong lately, averaging 27.5 points over the last four games. The lefty has also made 11 of 17 three-pointers during that span.

Playing in hostile environments hasn’t fazed Young this season either. He is averaging 20.7 points on the road this season compared to 14.2 at the Wells Fargo Center.

3. Make them count
The Sixers have regained their offensive groove recently, but that won’t be easy to maintain against the Nuggets.

The Sixers have averaged 109.8 points over their last four games to record a 2-2 record.

While Denver allows 100.9 points per game, the Nuggets make teams work for every point. The Nuggets are tied for seventh in the NBA in opponents’ field goal percentage (44.1) and opponents’ three-point percentage (34.6).

4. Injuries
Nerlens Noel (knee), Arnett Moultrie (ankle) and Jason Richardson (knee) are all out.

Danilo Gallinari (knee) and JaVale McGee (leg) are out for the Nuggets.

5. This and that
• Wednesday’s tilt marks the fourth game of the Sixers’ six-game road trip.

• The Sixers suffered a 103-92 loss to the Nuggets on Dec. 7. Point guards Michael Carter-Williams and Ty Lawson both missed that game because of injuries.

• The Sixers have lost three of their last four games against the Nuggets.

• Lawson has racked up 46 points in the Nuggets’ last two games on 16 of 29 shooting.

• Carter-Williams is averaging 18.5 points, 8.3 assists and 3.0 steals in four games since returning to the lineup.

• The Nuggets are shooting 29.0 percent from three-point range during their four-game home skid.

• The Sixers are allowing 120.7 points per game over their last six matchups.