OKLAHOMA CITY — With the Miami Heat taking up all the media coverage with their 23-game winning streak, Denver has quietly flown under the radar despite riding a win streak of its own. The Nuggets came into Oklahoma City Tuesday winners of 12 straight games and rising up the ranks of the Western Conference standings.
By the time the Nuggets left the Chesapeake Energy Arena, it had beaten the Thunder 114-104 to extend its streak to 13 games, again reasserting itself as the team no one wants to face come the playoffs.
“It’s still March,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “They outplayed us tonight. But we still have time to get better. They are a good team. They are playing as well as any team in this league. “
The streak is the Nuggets’ longest since a franchise-record 15-game run in the ABA in 1969-70. Denver has beaten the defending Western Conference champions in three of four meetings this season.
“We are hot,” Denver coach George Karl said. “And we know the momentum of a hot team can go away as quickly. But the depth of our team, and versatility of our team and how we figure out how to play, and who is going to be the guy every night … (I) can’t deny, it’s a lot of fun to coach.”
The Nuggets (47-22) led by as many as 13 points in the second half before the Thunder cut the lead to 102-97 with less than 4 minutes remaining. After getting a stop, Oklahoma City (50-18) had an opportunity to cut the deficit to three points or two on consecutive trips, but Kevin Durant was called for a charge and Thabo Sefolosha missed a layup.
Denver’s Kenneth Faried hit one of two at the foul line before Andre Miller made a jump shot to put Nuggets up 105-97.