Notebook: Nuggets 105, Thunder 103



Posted Mar 2, 2013 2:39 AM

Michael Kelly, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Ty Lawson rose up and hit a 23-foot jumper over Thabo Sefolosha with 0.2 showing on the clock and the Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103 on Friday night.

Wilson Chandler came off the bench to tie his career high with 35 points to pace the Nuggets, who have won 10 straight home games and four in a row overall.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with a season-high 38 points and Kevin Durant added 25 points and 14 rebounds. Oklahoma City had its three-game winning streak snapped.

QUOTABLE: "I just wanted to walk it down to the last five seconds. Sefolosha was guarding Wilson, so he switched on me. I took the shot and it went in. It felt good, it looked good. That was the best shot I shot all night. I was sighing when it went in."
-- Ty Lawson

THE STAT: In their five games prior to Friday, the Thunder shot 94.2 percent from the foul line and missed eight free throws in that span. They missed 10 against Denver, costing them the win.

TURNING POINT: The Nuggets coaching staff has been pushing Lawson to be more aggressive, and showed why on the last possession. He calmly dribbled down the clock, and when it went under 5 seconds and got the shot off over Sefolosha, who has eight inches on the 5-foot-11 guard.

QUOTABLE II: "He made a contested shot over one of our best defenders. A lot of times we've made that stop. He made a tough shot. They played a little bit better and made one more play than us."
-- Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks on Lawson

HOT: Westbrook and Chandler dueled throughout the game, with Westbrook having a slight advantage. In the first half Chandler scored 18 points -- just six short of his season high for a game -- and Westbrook had 23, including a buzzer-beating 36-foot 3-pointer that got the Thunder within 56-47 at the break. The duel continued into the second half and while Westbrook finished with more points, Chandler left the arena happy.

QUOTABLE III: "Honestly, I thought I'd have a pretty good night but 35? No. I was playing in my rhythm and taking open shots."
-- Wilson Chandler

NOT: The Oklahoma City bench. Their reserves were outscored 71-11 and left the starters to carry the offensive load.

QUOTABLE IV: "Say what? Jeesh. We've got to do a better job of helping them out, give them a better cushion."
-- Kevin Durant when told his team's bench was outscored by 60 points

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Westbrook fills up the stat sheet every night. Over his last six games he is averaging 30.2 points and 6.3 assists.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Former NBA star Antoine Walker was seen walking around Pepsi Center during the game.

GOOD MOVE: The Nuggets were sloppy in the first quarter, turning the ball over twice in the first 30 seconds and six times overall. They cleaned it up the rest of the way, turning it over just eight more times.

NOTABLE: The Nuggets improved to 25-3 at home, which is the second-best record in the league behind Miami's 26-3. ... Chandler last scored 35 on Feb. 9, 2010, when he was playing for the Knicks. ... Denver had 14 steals. It's the fifth straight game of at least 11 steals. ... Westbrook is averaging 35.3 points in three games against Denver this year.

UP NEXT: For the Thunder, Sunday @ L.A. Clippers, Tuesday vs. L.A. Lakers, Thursday @ New York. For the Nuggets, Monday vs. Atlanta, Tuesday @ Sacramento, Thursday vs. L.A. Clippers.