Jeremy Lin and the Houston Rockets can make a play for the No. 6 position on the Western Conference as they take on the shorthanded Denver Nuggets Saturday night at the Pepsi Center.
Houston is also two wins away from clinching their first playoff appearance since 2009.
Denver lost second leading scorer Danilo Gallinari for the rest of the season after the Italian and former lottery pick tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Nuggets, currently third in the West, will insert forward Corey Brewer in the starting line up for the injured Gallinari. Now in his sixth season, Brewer is averaging 11.9 points, his best mark since his 2009-10 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Brewer stepped up immediately once Gallinari went down in the Dallas game, notching 23 points off the bench in the 95-94 win.
Second year forward Kenneth Faried ripped down 19 rebounds to go along with 12 points and four blocks, and veteran guard Andre Miller scored 22 points.
The Rockets sit one game behind the Golden State Warriors in the West standings, and pulled off back-to-back road wins for the first time since January when they beat the Portland Trailblazers 116-98 on Friday.
Four Houston starters reached double-figures, with guard James Harden totaling 33 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Lin tallied 22 points and eights assists, and Houston got by without hot shooting forward Chandler Parsons, who sat out with a calf injury.
Parsons is averaging 15.3 points, and shooting 38 percent from 3-point range in his breakout second year. He is not expected to play against Denver.
The game begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time, or you can watch a live online stream by purchasing NBA League Pass Broadband here.
Betting Odds: Denver is favored by 5.5 points.
Over/Under: 212 points
Prediction: If Brewer continues his scoring onslaught, Denver can move on without Gallinari. The Nuggets have a deep enough bench to overwhelm Houston, and Andre Igoudala can contain Harden along the perimeter. Look for Denver to walk away with a victory.
Predicted Score: Denver 104, Houston 99
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