After a couple of days of rest, the Denver Nuggets (44-19) are in action tonight as they’re welcoming the Memphis Grizzlies (38-23) to town for the third and final game of their season series. The two sides have split their matchups thus far, with each team taking their respective home games. Now, the top two seeds in the Western Conference are playing for the head-to-head tiebreaker that will go a long way towards locking up the top spot out West.

For the Nuggets, they’re riding high with seven wins in their last 10 games, with five of those wins coming against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season started today. Despite injuries, they’re finding ways to get production out of a variety of lineups, and they continue to chug along with a 5.0 game lead over the Grizzlies. Of their 19 remaining games, nine of them are at home, where Denver has been strong all year, and they’ll want to protect that home-court advantage.

After losing six out of 10 games during a stretch in late January through most of February, the Grizzlies are riding a bit of a hot streak with three straight wins, including an 18-point thumping of the Nuggets last weekend. They’ve struggled a bit on the road this year, but they have the third-best winning percentage in the NBA at home. They’d like home-court advantage just as much as Denver would.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (44-19, 28-4 home) vs Memphis Grizzlies (38-23, 12-18 away)

When: 8:00 p.m. MST

Where: Ball Arena

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy..unless it’s the romanticized 18th-century type. AltitudeTV where available. ESPN. Show up in Denver. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Rival Blog: Grizzly Bear Blues

Expected Starting Lineups:

HOU: PG Ja Morant, SG Desmond Bane, SF Dillon Brooks, PF Jaren Jackson Jr., C Xavier Tillman

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Michael Porter Jr. (heel) PROBABLE, Zeke Nnaji (shoulder) OUT, Collin Gillsespie (leg) OUT, Aaron Gordon (rib) PROBABLE, Vlatko Cancar (wrist) QUESTIONABLE, Steven Adams (knee) OUT

Three Things to Watch

Find Open Shots for Shooters

In the matchup last weekend, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., who have been two of the NBA’s hottest shooters over the last month, were abysmal. They shot a combined 2-of-12 from 3-point range, and they scored a total of 13 points combined. In their two games since Saturday, those two have combined for 50 and 49 points along with eight threes in each game while shooting 43.2 percent from downtown. When they’re hitting shots, offense is easier for everyone.

Make a Decision on Ja

When you’re playing against Ja Morant, there are essentially two ways that you can choose to address him. Option one is allowing him to score at will while shutting off passing lanes and denying the ball to everyone else on the floor. The other option is to smother him and hope that the shooters and cutters don’t hit their shots when he finds them. Whatever decision the Nuggets make, they need to make it early in the game and stick to it.

Get Jaren Jackson Jr. in Foul Trouble

With Steven Adams still dealing with his knee injury, the Grizzlies’ defense is largely anchored by the top Defensive Player of the Year candidate Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson is one of the league’s best shot blockers, but that also means he has a propensity for getting fouls. In 44 games played, he has four or more fouls in 23 games, including both games with the Nuggets. If the Nuggets can get a couple of calls to go their way early in the game, that will open up a whole lot of real estate when they’re around the basket.