Nuggets experiencing a little bit of everything during streak
Over the course of four weeks, the Denver Nuggets have won games in a variety of ways.
At home, on the road. Nail-biters, late-nighters. Fast-paced shootouts, anticlimactic blowouts.
It all adds up to an NBA team-record 14-game winning streak that is one short of the franchise record set by the Denver Rockets during the 1969-70 season.
“It should not be the motivating factor in anything other than we’re proud to have done it,” Nuggets coach George Karl said Friday. “I really feel that any NBA team can beat another NBA team by 15 or 20 points if things go the wrong way. The thin line of the best team and the worst team is a lot thinner than fans think it is.”
Denver’s improbable victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night could serve as Exhibit A to support Karl’s case.
The Sixers had lost 14 in a row on the road and were playing the second of back-to-back games, but they led the Nuggets by eight points with 2 minutes remaining.
Denver took advantage of several Philadelphia miscues – a turnover, three missed shots and two missed free throws – to rally for a 101-100 victory capped by Corey Brewer’s three free throws with 2.1 seconds left.
“We put ourselves in a tough position,” Nuggets point guard Andre Miller said. “They played some good basketball throughout the game. I guess the ball just fell our way.”
The victory was the fourth time during their streak that the Nuggets won by 2 points or less.
Denver will go for No. 15 Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings. For those in need of a quick summary of how the Nuggets got to this point, here’s a breakdown of each win since the streak started last month.
Feb. 23, at Charlotte
The Ignition Switch: Coming off a disappointing loss to the Washington Wizards, the Nuggets built a 20-point lead and cruised to a 113-99 victory over the Bobcats.
Feb. 25, vs. L.A. Lakers
Speed Reigns: The Nuggets controlled the tempo and the game from the opening quarter of a 119-108 win that didn’t seem that close. Denver finished with a season-high 33 fast-break points.
Feb. 27, at Portland
Northwest Breakthrough: The Nuggets backcourt of Ty Lawson and Andre Iguodala combined for 59 points and 14 assists as Denver beat the Trail Blazers 111-109 for their first victory in Portland since 2009.
March 1, vs. Oklahoma City
The Wilson Chandler Show: Coming off the bench, forward Wilson Chandler hit six 3-pointers en route to a 35-point game as the Nuggets beat the Thunder 105-103. Denver’s reserves outscored their OKC counterparts 71-11.
March 4, vs. Atlanta
Getting Defensive: Dominating the boards and the paint, the Denver held the Hawks to 38 points in the second half of a 104-88 victory. Brewer came off the bench to lead all scores with 22 points.
March 5, at Sacramento
California Shootout: Kenneth Faried had a double-double as the Nuggets overcame 12 3-pointers during a 120-113 victory over the Kings. It marked the first time all season that Denver won three straight road games.
March 7, vs. L.A. Clippers
Battle For Seeding: In a matchup of two of the NBA’s most athletic teams, the Nuggets broke away in the third quarter of a 107-92 victory. Denver finished with seven players in double figures.
March 9, vs. Minnesota
Payback Time: More than two months after losing a home game to the Timberwolves, the Nuggets didn’t make the same mistake twice, outscoring Minnesota 61-39 in the second half of a 111-88 win.
March 11, at Phoenix
2K Run: Center Kosta Koufos scored Denver’s first 13 points, and the Nuggets pulled away late in a 108-93 victory over the Suns.
March 13, vs. New York
The Reunion: The Nuggets made sure Carmelo Anthony’s first game back in Denver was a forgettable one, crushing the Knicks 117-94 in a game that wasn’t close after the second quarter.
March 15, vs. Memphis
Survive The Grind: Questioned about their ability to win slow-down games, the Nuggets out-grizzled the Grizzlies with an 87-80 victory. Denver scored 29 points in the fourth quarter after managing just 10 in the third.
March 18, at Chicago
Wild Finish: Iguodala hit the go-ahead 3-pointer and the Nuggets won their 12th straight game when Joakim Noah’s late basket was wiped out by an offensive interference call.
March 19, at Oklahoma City
Statement Game: Refusing to succumb to the physical and mental fatigue of a tough back-to-back, the Nuggets took control in the third quarter and beat the Thunder 114-104 for their NBA team-record 13th straight win.
March 21, vs. Philadelphia
Fantastic Finish: With the streak all but dead, the Nuggets scored six points in 10 seconds to stun the Sixers at Pepsi Center.