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NBA NOTEBOOK...By "Easy" Al Monte

LOOKING AHEAD TUESDAY, FEB. 18 Denver at San Antonio (8:30 p.m. EST). The Spurs try for their ninth win in a row against the Nuggets, who are 3-24 on the road. The Spurs are 19-4 against the Nuggets since the start of the 1997-98 season.

Indiana at Memphis (8 p.m. EST). Indiana won the first 12 meetings between the teams before the Grizzlies` 122-111 victory in Memphis last March.

Chicago at Cleveland (7 p.m. EST). The Cavaliers have the worst record in the NBA with just 10 victories in 53 games, and the Bulls are the league`s worst road team with only two wins in 29 games away from home.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 19 Houston at Phoenix, (9 p.m. EST). Rookies Yao Ming and Amare Stoudamire square off as the Rockets and Suns try to maintain the last two playoff position in the Western Conference.

DID YOU KNOW? New Jersey improved to 12-0 on Fridays this season with a 90-72 win over Chicago on Feb. 14. Chicago lost its eighth straight game -- and also its eighth in a row on the road.

Detroit`s six-game winning streak ended Friday night with a 96-86 loss to Milwaukee.

The Los Angeles Lakers had won seven consecutive games before a 103-95 loss to San Antonio on Friday and a 117-100 loss to New York (without Shaq).

The New York Knicks have scored 100 or more points in seven straight games -- their longest such streak since they scored in triple figures 11 straight times during the 1992-93 season.

Chicago snapped an eight-game losing streak in defeating Denver 87-69 on Saturday. The Bulls, who have the NBA`s worst road record at 2-27, had played seven of their last eight games on the road before improving their home record to 16-8 with the win.

The Los Angeles Clippers` 92-84 loss to Boston on Saturday night marked the 17th time this season in which Los Angeles blew a lead in the fourth quarter and lost. The Clippers have lost six of their last seven games and 18 of their last 24 overall.

Orlando has lost five straight road games, following a 99-97 loss to Toronto on Sunday.

Denver lost its 12th straight road game, a 100-92 loss to New Orleans on Sunday, and fell to 3-24 on the road overall.

Minnesota beat Golden State 109-102 on Sunday for a franchise-record 12th straight home victory. The Timberwolves are 22-5 at home this season. Minnesota had its six-game winning streak snapped with a 109-97 loss at Utah on Monday night.

Detroit has won eight of nine after a 93-62 win over Miami on Monday night.

Utah improved to 3-0 against Minnesota with a 109-97 win Monday and clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker should the two teams finish with identical records.

Milwaukee went 5-3 on its home stand and now head to the West Coast for four games in five nights, beginning Tuesday at Sacramento. The Bucks have a six-game road winning streak.

Toronto is 6-2 since Vince Carter returned to the lineup after missing 23 consecutive games with an injured right knee.

Phoenix is 10-3 when Bo Outlaw starts at center. The Suns have had five consecutive 100-point games for the first time since February 2000.

Boston has lost six straight visits to Golden State since Feb. 15, 1995.

The Atlanta Hawks are 4-21 on the road. The Dallas Mavericks are 22-4 at home. Atlanta has lost four straight in Dallas since Dec. 2, 1997, and has dropped seven in a row overall in this series.

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