Lucky 13 for Denver
OKLAHOMA CITY – Andre Miller scored 13 of his season-best 20 points in the fourth quarter, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-104 last night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena for their first 13-game winning streak since joining the NBA.
Denver took control just after halftime, building a 13-point lead and then holding off the Thunder as they got back within 102-97 after Russell Westbrook’s 17-foot jumper from the left elbow with 4:08 to play. Coach George Karl put Miller back in the game at the next stoppage, and the 13-year veteran was a stabilising force.
Miller had back-to-back jumpers as Denver answered right back with five straight points, and he went five for six at the foul line in the final 69 seconds to close it out.Denver’s previous longest winning streak since the 1976 ABA-NBA merger was 12 straight in 1982. The franchise won 15 in a row in the 1969-70 ABA season.Ty Lawson led Denver with 25 points. Miller also had nine assists and seven rebounds in 23 effective minutes.
Kevin Durant had 34 points and Westbrook chipped in 25 for Oklahoma City, which fell to 30-5 at home this season.
The Thunder gave up a season-worst 72 points in the paint – Denver’s specialty – as both teams struggled throughout the game from 3-point range.
The Nuggets trailed by 10 early in the second quarter, but then dictated the tenor of the game the rest of the way.
Denver moved within 3 1/2 games of the Thunder in the Northwest Division and became the first team this season to beat Oklahoma City three times.
Kevin Martin had 14 points off the bench for Oklahoma City and Kendrick Perkins had 11 rebounds, but did not play over the final 18 minutes as Denver build up its big rebounding edge.Other matches: Magic 73, Pacers 95; Trail Blazers 95, Bucks 102; Clippers 101, Kings 116.