After coming up short against the Warriors, the Celtics look to close a four-game west coast trip with a victory when they visit the Nuggets on Monday night.
Despite holding the East’s No. 1 seed, the Celtics (35-15) have struggled throughout the month of January. Boston enters the Pepsi Center having lost five of its last six games. In the 109-105 loss to Golden State, All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford combined for 52 points, but the Celtics could not overcome 49 points from All-Star guard Stephen Curry.
“We just need to learn how to put two points together on the road,” Avalanche forward Tyson Jost said. “We have to regroup in Columbus.”
Semyon Varlamov started in goal in Chicago, but Jonathan Bernier could return Thursday night. He was responsible for the shutout against the Blue Jackets in January.
Colorado forward Sven Andrighetto is also close to returning after missing two months with a lower-body injury.
Nathan MacKinnon produced his 12th power-play goal of the season in the second period against the Blackhawks to extend his points streak to six games (seven goals, six assists). The Avalanche have scored a power-play goal in five consecutive games for the first time since 2015.
The Celtics (36-15) led by 11 after the first quarter, but Denver chipped away at the lead. Tied entering the final minute, the Celtics hit a couple clutch shots and stymied the Nuggets on defense.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 24 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. The versatile center is averaging a double-double this season. Trey Lyles came off the bench to score 20 points, while Will Barton added 19 points.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points with 18 rebounds and six assists in a 107-95 win over the 76ers. He became just the fifth player with 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and five-plus assists in a game this season, joining DeMarcus Cousins (four times), Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Russell Westbrook.