Nuggets take 12-game winning into Oklahoma City

Denver can set franchise NBA record with victory over the Thunder
by Aaron Lopez

The Nuggets will look to make history tonight - and improve their playoff seeding in the process - when they take on the Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City Thunder.

Denver (46-22) has won 12 straight games and can break its 31-year-old franchise NBA record with a victory over the Thunder (50-17). The Nuggets also won 12 straight games from March 10 to April 2, 1982.

"Nine (wins) in a row in January and now with 12, we know we can win and play anyone," Nuggets coach George Karl said after Monday's thrilling overtime win in Chicago. "We're building confidence.

"However, we're just trying to get to a number like 54 or 55 wins. We believe there is value in every game. We're just doing a nice job coming together and building confidence."

Beating the Thunder will require confidence, poise and execution. Oklahoma City is 30-4 at home and will be looking to avenge consecutive losses in Denver earlier this season.

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson hit the game-winner with 0.2 seconds left to beat the Thunder on March 1. His heroics came five weeks after Corey Brewer scored 26 points in an overtime victory against Oklahoma City at Pepsi Center.

Brewer had 16 points off the bench against Chicago as Denver's reserves accounted for 71 points.

"This was an important win for us and we're building our confidence," Brewer said. "However, now it's all about the next game."

Denver trails Oklahoma City by 4.5 games in the Northwest Division race. While catching the Thunder will be difficult, the Nuggets remain focused on securing home-court advantage in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets, 13-1 since the All-Star break, are a half-game behind the No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers and percentage points behind the fourth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.


WHEN: 6 p.m. MT
WHERE: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City.
TV; RADIO: Altitude, NBATV; 104.3 FM, AM-950


F Danilo Gallinari
F Kenneth Faried
C Kosta Koufos
G Andre Iguodala
G Ty Lawson

F Kevin Durant
F Serge Ibaka
C Kendrick Perkins
G Thabo Sefolosha
G Russell Westbrook

No injuries to report.
OKLAHOMA CITY: Hasheem Thabeet (sore lower back) is day-to-day.

The Nuggets have claimed 17 of the last 26 games overall against the Thunder/Sonics, dating back to the 2006-07 season … Denver has performed extremely well on the road against the OKC franchise in recent years, having gone 12-11 since the 2001-02 season … Although the Nuggets have won nine of the last 11 home games against the Thunder/Sonics, the OKC franchise has actually played well in Denver over the last eight seasons, having gone 8-13 at Pepsi Center since 2002-03 … Last season was the Thunder’s second multi-win season against the Nuggets since 2005-06 … The Nuggets claimed a 3-1 series win over the Thunder in 2009-10, marking their fourth-straight season series win against the OKC franchise until the last two seasons … Denver has recorded seven non-losing season series out of the last nine against the Thunder/Sonics (had been seven straight until 2010-11) … The biggest win in Nuggets regular season history (52 points) came against the OKC franchise on 3/16/08 – a 168-116 win over the Seattle SuperSonics at the Pepsi Center … The 168 points scored by Denver on 3/16/08 also marked the most points the Nuggets have ever scored in a non-overtime game.