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Wizards vs Nuggets: Can Washington's second half offense get back on track?

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After dropping their last two games due to dismal second half performances, Washington looks to bounce back tonight in Denver to avoid dropping to 7-7 in January.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Don't look now, but the Wizards are on a two game losing streak.

They have also lost three of their last five games and have three more games on the road.

But the good thing is that while Washington has been struggling lately, so has the rest of the Eastern Conference. Still second place in the East, the Wiz are 6-4 in their last 10 games. And compare them to how they were this time last season: a beautiful night and day difference.

Tonight's game isn't a trap game, nor is it a do or die - it's a game that the Wizards need to use to get back to basics and play basketball the way they are capable of playing.

When and where? Unless you're out in Colorado skiing, watch this one on CSN Washington or NBATV at 8 p.m. (EST).

Who's out? No one for the Wizards, which is always good news. For the Nuggets, Javale McGee and Danilo Gallinari are both out. Kenneth Faried and Jusef Nurkic are listed as day to day and Ty Lawson, who did not play Friday after being arrested earlier in the day for an alleged DUI is expected to play in Sunday's game.

Are they good? At 18-25, they are currently on a five game losing streak and have a dismal 12-11 home record. They are also 13th in the tough Western Conference. They do however rebound quite well - average 45.8 per game, they rank third in the league. They score (101.6 points per game) and assist (21.2 per game) well, too. Though they have one nine of the lsat 11 matchups with Washington in Denver, they have lost five of their last six against East opponents.

Let's talk JW vs TL? Should Ty Lawson play tonight, his matchup with John Wall will definitely be one to watch. Lawson has been shooting better than 50 percent his past 10 games (18.1 points per game) while averaging 9 rebounds in those 10 games. He's been just as hot in January, too. However, vs. Washington, he shoots just 30 percent while average 14 points / 10 assists. Wall, his past 10 games is shooting 47.4 percent (17.3 points) while average 8.9 assists, which is below his average for the season. How he bounces back with Lawson - who leads the Nuggets in points, assists and steals - will be really set the tone for the rest of this Western road trip.

2nd half troubles? In their past two losses, Washington was outscored 54-42 (vs Oklahoma City) and 58-41 (vs Portland) in the second halves of each game. Not exactly how you want to win games. In their last nine losses, they have been outscored in the second half of all. Furthermore, in 14 of their last 19 games, they've been outscored in the second half - though obviously those are all not losses. In January, the Wiz are also now 7-6 ... so tonight's game takes on a bit more meaning now.

Throwback? This time last season (Jan 25, 2014), the Wiz were 21-22.  Right at 29-15, life is considerably better for Washington.

Who wins? This season, the Wiz are 7-3 when playing the second game on back-to-backs, averaging 101.2 points per game compared to their season average of 99.6. Tonight's game is what they need before they travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday and Phoenix on Wednesday. It'll be close, but expect the Wiz to pull this one out.