(Sports Network) - A pair of teams that were ousted in the first round of last year's playoffs collide tonight in the Rocky Mountains, as the Denver Nuggets play host to the Dallas Mavericks at the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets lost to Utah in six games, while the Mavericks were also bounced from the postseason in six games by San Antonio.
Denver is 2-1 on the season and is coming off Saturday's 107-94 victory at Houston in which Al Harrington pumped in 28 points and 10 rebounds off the bench to lead the way. Disgruntled forward Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points and Nene added 12 and 12 boards for the Nuggets, who outscored the Rockets by a 35-25 margin in the final stanza.
"We're trying to learn about Al a little bit," Nuggets head coach George Karl told NBA.com. "He knows how to get open, he knows how to find the three. He plays hard and rebounds the ball well."
The Nuggets' bench outscored Houston's reserves 42-20. Chauncey Billups had 13 points in the win for Denver, which was coming off a loss at New Orleans and will also welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to the Pepsi Center.
Dallas is also 2-1 on the young season and recorded a 99-83 triumph over the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday from Staples Center.
Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points and seven rebounds, Jason Terry netted 15 points and Jason Kidd contributed 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Mavericks, who bounced back from a 91-90 loss versus Memphis on Friday.
"Our first half was so-so. We had to come out and play a better second half and we did," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. "Our bench play was pivotal. A good win for us."
The Mavericks won't play again until Saturday versus Denver in the Lone Star State.
Dallas won two of three matchups with Denver a year ago after the Nuggets swept a four-game series in the 2008-09 campaign. The Mavericks have won 21 of the past 33 contests against Denver, which has won five of the previous six encounters in the Rocky Mountains.