USA TODAY Sports
This night was all about Wilson Chandler's offense, but the Nuggets also did a lot of little things to insure a win tonight against the rival Thunder: 105-103.
On a night where Wilson Chandler scores 35 points (tying a career-high) for the Denver Nuggets, Ty Lawson steals the show with a last-second game winner. The Nuggets defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103, despite Russell Westbrook getting 38 points and shooting as many free throws as the entire Nuggets team (12-17 for both Westbrook and the Nuggets).
To top things off -- Lawson does a little "Movin' Like Bernie" dance after his shot.
Here is Lawson's shot and celebration:
After the game Andre Iguodala said Lawson's timing on the dance couldn't have been better, even though he wasn't a big fan of Ty's dance moves.
I've seen this game from the Thunder too many times this season, but the result tonight was different. Kevin Durant and his teammates have figured out a way to coast during games, never letting teams get insurmountable leads, making little runs and winning late. The Nuggets could not put the Thunder away and they came (excuse the pun) roaring back with a 28-20 effort in the final quarter.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks credited Lawson with making the game winner.
"We switched and he made a tough shot," said Brooks. "He made a contested shot over one of our best defenders and sometimes that's the way it goes. A lot of times we have made that stop, but I give him credit. He stepped up and made a tough shot."
Complaints about the Nuggets lacking big shot makers have reigned down from all walks of the media world and Lawson's shot not only won the game - it closed a few mouths too. Denver went toe-to-toe with the Thunder down the stretch and came out on top - my making plays. None bigger than the shots Chandler hit throughout the night.
Wilson aka Wilmatic had 18 points in the first half and followed that up with 17 second half points. He was 13-19 on the night and 6-7 from long range (3-4 at the foul line).
"I thought I was going to have a good game, but 35 [points], no," said Chandler. "It feels pretty good, but to get the 'W' is even better."
Not only was this a feel good win, but it was a statement game. The Nuggets do not have a losing record to any Western Conference playoff team (current standings) and possess a 19-12 record versus all playoff bound teams. No excuses from the Thunder tonight, they had nearly double the free throw attempts (34 to 17) and Kevin Durant played nearly 40 minutes without committing a foul (unreal).
Had Lawson not made that final shot, no Denver starter would have finished the game in double-figures. That has to be some kind of record - of which you want no part of. Iguodala scored just 4 points, but grabbed 6 rebounds and handed out 5 assists. Iguodala also helped keep Durant in check as he was just 9-20 from the floor.
Danilo Gallinari played 22 minutes (some of those coming at center!) and scored 7 points on 2-7 shooting (1-4 from deep and 2-2 at the foul line). His two made free throws could not have come at a bigger time. His defense should also be applauded. You could see Gallo in obvious pain, but he played through it and was a big reason why the Nuggets gutted out a win.
Karl has applauded this team with being mentally tough and we're seeing that big time. No doubt about it, this was the biggest win of the season for Denver.
Views you can use:
-Andre Miller finished the night +13 and scored 14 points and 7 assists. He also had 5 fouls and 3 turnovers. The stats lie here a bit, Miller struggled tonight and Karl admitted after the game that perhaps he should have used more Corey Brewer (24 minutes and 14 points on 7-13 shooting).
-Take away Chandler's six made threes and the Nuggets were just 1-14 from deep on the night with Gallo being the only other guy to hit a bomb. Yikes.
-Smart move by Karl to have Mozgov (that was Moz right?!) cover the inbound and McGee under the rim on the Thunder's last attempt with 0:02 left on the clock.
Nate_Timmons on Twitter