Notebook: Nuggets 114, Thunder 104



Posted Mar 20, 2013 12:02 AM

Randy Renner, NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Denver Nuggets used an offensive explosion in the second quarter and a lockdown defensive effort in the third and then held off a Thunder rally in the fourth for a 114-104 win. The victory is the team's 13th straight and sets a Nuggets record for their NBA history but the franchise won 15 games in the 1969-70 season while the team played in the old ABA.

The Nuggets had six players in double figures led by point guard Ty Lawson who finished with 25 points, his backup Andre Miller had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Kenneth Faried had a monster night with 13 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 34 points but the Thunder only had two other players in double figures. Russell Westbrook added 25 points and six assists and Kevin Martin showed signs of snapping out of a shooting slump with 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

The Nuggets dominated down low, scoring a whopping 72 points in the paint. The Thunder dominated on the fast break scoring 26 points on 11 shots while Denver managed 15 points on 12 shots.

The Nuggets win the season series from Oklahoma City 3-1 and took the last three games in a row.

QUOTABLE: "Thirteen wins, that's a good run. I don't wanna get too happy because we still have a job to do to try and get home court advantage in the first round. But boy these guys are a lot of fun to coach."
-- Nuggets coach George Karl

THE STAT: After scoring 34 points and shooting 59.1 percent in the first quarter the Thunder managed just 38 points in the entire second half and shot just 31.7 percent.

TURNING POINT: A 15-4 Denver run to start the third quarter put the Nuggets solidly in control with a double-digit lead and set the Thunder back on their heels. Even though the Nuggets were playing the second night of a back-to-back they seemed to be the team with a bit more energy in a game that was played at a frenetic pace.

QUOTABLE II: "Give them a lot of credit, they're playing the best basketball in the West right now. We didn't accomplish what we wanted to [limiting paint points] and they outplayed us tonight. We have to get better and we have time it's only March."
-- Thunder coach Scott Brooks

HOT: Thunder started the game hot, shooting 59.1 percent (13-for-22) in the first quarter...Durant (4-for-8), Westbrook (3-for-6) and Martin (2-for-2) combined to go 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) in the first quarter...Lawson was 3-for-4 in the third quarter.

NOT: Danilo Gallinari was 3-for-10 in the first half...Andre Iguodala was 3-for-11 in the second half...Durant was 4-for-10 in the second half and 0-for-4 on 3-pointers...OKC was 0-15 on threes in the second half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Faith Night in Oklahoma City and Rev. Jesse Jackson was a part of the 101st consecutive sellout crowd inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

GOOD MOVE: Containing Chandler was a big focus for the Thunder going into the game. He had scored 35 points on the Bulls the night before and he had hit for 35 against OKC the last time these two teams played. In his first nine minutes though, Chandler had only two points on 1-for-2 shooting. He finished the first half with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting.

BAD MOVE: Oklahoma City at times seemed just helpless trying to do anything about Denver's ability to score inside. Then Nuggets came in averaging an NBA-best 57.6 paint points per game and had 44 by halftime on 22-for-38 shooting (57.9 percent) down low. They finished with 72, six less than their season-high.

NOTABLE: Chandler left the game in the second half with a separated shoulder and did not return. He's status is unknown...Lawson tweaked his Achilles late in the game, his status is also unclear.

UP NEXT: For the Nuggets, Thursday vs. Philadelphia, Saturday vs. Sacramento, Monday @ New Orleans. For the Thunder, Wednesday @ Memphis, Friday @ Orlando, Sunday vs. Portland.