Denver Nuggets vs Washington Wizards: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/23/18

The Denver Nuggets will again be without leading scorer Gary Harris on Friday night as their road trip continues versus the Washington Wizards.

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Nuggets guard Gary Harris, who averages a team-high 17.7 points, has yet to play on Denver’s seven-game road trip as he recovers from a knee injury suffered late in a 120-113 win over Detroit on March 15.

The injury could not have come at a worse time for Denver, who are trying to make up ground on the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Nuggets (39-33) entered play Thursday night 1.5 games behind the Jazz after throttling Chicago 135-102 on Wednesday night to improve to 1-2 on this road swing.

Paul Millsap scored 22 points and Wilson Chandler hit five 3-pointers to lead a perimeter barrage that saw the Nuggets go 20 of 35 from beyond the arc. Denver shot 61.4 percent overall, the fourth time this season they have shot at least 60 percent, and the 135 points were their third-highest total of the season.

Despite leading the Southeast Division by 1.5 games over Miami, the Wizards (40-31) have slid to sixth in the Eastern Conference standings and are two games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for fourth, which carries home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason.

Washington were denied a third straight win Wednesday night after a 98-90 loss at San Antonio extended their losing streak to the Spurs to 18 games. Bradley Beal scored 21 points on nine-of-13 shooting and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 21 off the bench, but a Wizards team missing key reserves Mike Scott and Jodie Meeks wilted in the third quarter as the Spurs, themselves fighting for their playoff lives, pulled away.

The Wizards are opening a three-game home stand with this contest as New York and San Antonio also visit the nation’s capital.