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Support from home fans critical for Nuggets down the stretch

At 30-7, Denver has third-best home mark in NBA

Playing an exciting and successful brand of team basketball, the Nuggets are proving the theory that every player counts.

The same is true when talking about an 82-game NBA season. Every second of every minute of every game matters.

That’s why it’s important for Nuggets fans to fill every seat for every game at the Pepsi Center as Denver tries to secure its fourth consecutive 50-win season and overtake Oklahoma City for the Northwest Division title.

At 30-7, the Nuggets (44-29 overall) own the third-best home record in the NBA – behind only San Antonio (33-3) and Chicago (32-4) – and have won nine straight games at the Pepsi Center, including all seven following the Feb. 22 trade that brought Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov to Denver.

“The home crowd, the whole year, has been very good to us,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “It’s probably the reason we sustained the first four or five months of the season.

"I feel an energy from the street and from the home court and even from the media. There’s a refreshing personality to what’s going on. Sustaining it for the rest of the year is probably the goal – and I think we will.”

Three of Denver past four home games have been sold out; the next home game is Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings.

The Sacramento game is the last KeyBank Guys Night Out of the season. Fans can get two tickets, two beers or soft drinks and two T-shirts for $49.

The Nuggets have three home games in April – Oklahoma City, Minnesota and Golden State – before the playoffs begin as early as April 15. The Warriors game on April 11 is Fan Appreciation night.

MANE EVENT: Chris “Birdman” Andersen has some competition in the hairstyle department after Gallinari and Mozgov sported faux-hawks Friday night against the Washington Wizards.

“Bird is a professional with his Mohawk,” Gallinari said. “That’s a particular cut. Me and Timofey, we kind of have the same hair and the same length, so we can kind of do the same thing.”

FOCUSED FELTON: Because of his physical style of play and singular intensity, Karl compared Felton to Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears.

“Everything is important, everything is focused in,” Karl said. “In the huddles, every possession has a meaning and a purpose. There’s a seriousness to his physicality.” As for Felton’s speedy teammate Ty Lawson, Karl went a little more contemporary.

“He’d probably be the kick-return guy, (Devin) Hester,” Karl said. “He’s incredibly impossible to tackle. When he’s going at you, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, this is really dangerous.’ ”

WINNING WITHOUT AFFLALO: From the meaningless-stat department, the Nuggets are 6-0 in games without injured shooting guard Arron Afflalo, who has been sidelined with a strained left hamstring.

The success is more of a commentary on Denver’s depth than Afflalo’s importance to the team.

Asked if his starting spot might be in jeopardy when he returns – possibly Wednesday – Afflalo smiled.

“I wouldn’t think so, but Coach teases me about it every day,” he said. “I think I’ll be fine.”


Aaron Lopez
Aaron J. Lopez is the primary writer for Nuggets.com, providing behind-the-scenes content, including feature stories and video for the site. Before joining the Nuggets in 2009, he spent 15 years covering Colorado sports for the Rocky Mountain News and the Associated Press, making him one of the longest-tenured sports writers in Denver. Aaron's full bio...