The Thunder surrendered just their fifth home loss of the season when they could not contain the Denver Nuggets in the second half of Tuesday’s contest, losing 114-104.
Ty Lawson scored 25 points and Andre Miller had 20 points and nine assists to lead the Nuggets to its 13th straight win for the first time in team history. They made even more history by becoming the first time in the 2012-13 season to beat Oklahoma City three times.
For Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant led with 34 points, and Russell Westbrook added 25 more.
The Thunder actually led by one at halftime, but the Nuggets took control of the reins in the third quarter and never relinquished them back to OKC. Denver took the lead thanks to Danilo Gallinari’s 3-pointer and then went on 12-2 run that stifled the Thunder crowd that had previously been riled up by Westbrook’s two-handed dunk off an inbound alley-oop pass. Andre Iguodala then slammed it down on a fast break and put Denver up 80-70 midway through the third, which forced Scott Brooks to call a timeout.
OKC scored back-to-back buckets out of the time out, but the Nuggets were not impressed: they scored seven straight baskets to push their lead to 87-74 with under three minutes to play in the third. The Thunder did slice into the lead, bringing it within five when Westbrook nailed a 17-foot jumper to make it 102-97 with four minutes left in the contest, but this team did not have enough in the tank to fully overcome the deficit.
This win for Denver was critical, as it suggests that this match-up could be a thriller come playoffs time, and that it could put the Nuggets in a good position for home-court advantage. The Thunder have five home losses, while the Nuggets only have three.
The Oklahoma City Thunder now post a 50-18 record. They face the Mephis Grizzlies next, on Wed., March 20.