Venue: Pepsi Center
Carmelo Anthony's days in Denver might be numbered, but he will be in a Nuggets uniform when the Miami Heat come to town.
Whether LeBron James suits up to face him remains to be seen.
Anthony and the Nuggets expect to be at their best Thursday night while looking to continue their home dominance of the Heat, who are coming off their first road loss since November.
Anthony continues to be the focal point of a potential three-team trade with New Jersey and Detroit, but the Nuggets star is still in Denver, and excited about facing Miami's superstar trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the first time as a unit.
"I'll be here playing against Miami," said Anthony, who has averaged 27.7 points and shot 53.8 percent while going 6-0 against the Heat at home. "Guarantee you that."
Less certain is whether James will be there to play against Anthony and the Nuggets. James sprained his left ankle on a drive to the basket during Wednesday's 111-105 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers. He returned to the game, but is questionable for this contest.
"There's no damage, I got an X-ray after the game," said James, who finished with 27 points. "The doctor told me it's day-to-day so I'll see how I feel (Thursday). I don't have to be a hero in the regular season if I'm not close to 100 percent."
Denver (21-16) is trying for a ninth consecutive home win over the Heat, and Anthony relishes the challenge.
"I love all challenges, not just (James)," said Anthony, who hit the game-winning shot over his good friend James in an overtime win at Cleveland on Feb. 18. "Any great player, I like that challenge of knowing I've got to man up against one of the greats in the game."
Miami (30-10), which has not won in Denver since Jan. 29, 2002, looks to bounce back after its 13-game road winning streak was snapped Wednesday.
"It's one game," said Bosh, who had 26 points and 13 rebounds. "It's very small in the grand scheme of things. We just have to do a better job of imposing our will."
The road winning streak matched the second-longest in Heat history. Miami, which also saw its nine-game overall winning streak end, has lost twice in 23 games. The Heat haven't suffered consecutive defeats since a season-high three game skid Nov. 20-24.
The Nuggets have been looking forward to this opportunity for some time.
"I think everybody's been waiting for this game and had it circled," point guard Ty Lawson told the Nuggets' official website. "We're ready for this game."
After shooting 3 of 11 and being held to eight points during a 96-87 home loss to New Orleans on Sunday, Anthony had 28 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday as the Nuggets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 132-98 victory over Phoenix.
Aaron Afflalo scored a career-high 31 points as Denver shot a home season-high 55.7 percent while recording its second-highest point total of 2010-11.
"As long as we come out here and play like we're supposed to play, have fun and don't worry about what's going on off the court, just on the court, we'll be fine," Nuggets swingman J.R. Smith said.
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