Denver Nuggets enjoying the ride
After 13th win in a row, Denver takes aim at Western Conference powers OKC and San Antonio
A subtle smile crept on the face of Denver Nuggets coach George Karl as he emerged from his locker room Tuesday night.
“Oh, the beer is going to taste like champagne tonight,” Karl mumbled to no one in particular.
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His Nuggets had just convincingly manhandled the Thunder 114-104 before a sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena to set a franchise NBA record of 13 straight victories.
The outcome snapped OKC's streak of 20 straight victories at home against Western Conference teams and dropped the Thunder to 30-5 at The Peake this season.
It was Karl's 1,121st career victory in 25 seasons as an NBA coach. Though he admittedly was pleased, Karl stressed there is still work to be done.
“Thirteen wins, I don't know where it ranks in NBA history, but it's a good run,” Karl said. “I don't want to get too happy about it because we have a job to do and we have a challenge to move into (the top four seeds) to get a home court (for the first round of the playoffs). There's no question the brand of basketball we're playing is maturing and growing and our confidence is growing with it.”
Reserve point guard Andre Miller celebrated his 37th birthday with 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds while essentially winning the game for the Nuggets with his infectious composure.
“We don't win the game without him,” Karl said of Miller. “Well, we might win the game, but it'd be a lot closer.”
Miller and starting point guard Ty Lawson directed a balanced attack that had six players score in double-digits. Lawson led the way with 25 points, while Kenneth Faried had 13 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots.
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