Nuggets beat San Antonio Spurs, tie franchise record for wins
Posted: 04/10/2013 11:01:14 PM MDTBy Benjamin Hochman
The Denver Post
Updated: 04/11/2013 02:57:22 AM MDT
Oh-nine. That's always the reference point. Chauncey and Melo, Kenyon and J.R. When talking about the modern-era Nuggets, the '09 Nuggets are the benchmark, because that squad made it to the Western Conference Finals, the only team to make it out of the first round since Denver drafted Carmelo Anthony in 2003.
Well, that team won 54 games. So has this one — with four games to go.
The short-handed Nuggets slapped around the short-handed Spurs on Wednesday night, 96-86, giving Denver (54-24) its 21st consecutive win at Pepsi Center, the longest home winning streak in team history. The win ties the 2008-09 and 1987-88 team with most wins in Nuggets' NBA history, and the 36th home victory ties the ABA Nuggets from 1976-77 for most home wins in franchise history.
Yes, Danilo Gallinari (knee) is out for the season. And Ty Lawson (heel), who should return before the playoffs, likely won't be 100 percent for the postseason. But there is just so much to like about this Denver team, especially in the friendly confines of altitude.
Now, Wednesday's win was cool and all, but the first half was about as exciting as watching the Avalanche. Both teams shot 36 percent from the field, and the halftime score was 38-37 in the home team's favor.
This after the Spurs (57-21) opened up the game 14-0, and the Pepsi Center crowd, which stands until Denver's first point, stayed on its feet until the 6:42 mark of the first.
But the Nuggets, led by Wilson Chandler (29) and Corey Brewer (28) erupted in the third quarter, and when Chandler and JaVale McGee each blocked a Tim Duncan shot on a late-third possession, and Chandler two-handed slammed on the other end, Denver led 69-61. Soon, it was 82-63.