The Denver Nuggets continued their hot steak as they went into the United Center and took care of the Chicago Bulls Monday night 119-118 OT. This was one of the wildest games of the season by far. A clutch three pointer by Andre Iguodala and a correct basket interference decision by the referees gave Denver its 12th win in a row which ties the franchise record!
The first quarter was a very low scoring affair with good defense from both teams and maybe some post St. Patrick’s Day rust. Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets in the 1st with 9 points and Denver led 21-20 after the 1st quarter.
The Nuggets came out strong in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 36-24 over the Bulls mid-way through the 2nd. Denver’s bench was the story of the 1st half, with just under five minutes to go, Wilson Chandler, Javale Mcgee, and Corey Brewer combined for 31 of Denver’s 43 points. That is bench production it’s finest! Denver went into the half up 53-45, after one of their best quarters of the year. The Nuggets connected on their first 15/16 shots. Wilson Chandler led with 20 points. Denver’s bench accounted for 37 of the 53 points in the half which is remarkable. After halftime, Chicago showed some fight and toughness and started clawing back into the game.
Towards the end of the 3rd, a ferocious dunk by Wilson Chandler ended a Bulls 7-2 run and after the 3rd, Denver still had a 79-73 lead with Chandler leading the way with 25 points. Headed to the 4th, Denver was in prime position to extend their win streak to twelve games which would match a franchise record.
The 4th quarter was a tight affair with Denver matching the Bulls whenever they made baskets. With just under three minutes remaining, Denver held a 99-94 lead, and the Bulls would cut the lead to one at 103-102 before a big layup by Andre Miller put Denver up 105-102. A costly turnover by Denver a possession later allowed the Bulls a chance to tie the game and poor defense allowed Nate Robinson to drain a WIDE OPEN THREE to tie the game at 105-105 with 13.4 seconds left.
Unfortunately, A really awful play call was the result for Denver as Ty dribbled for a good 10 seconds and shot off an air ball, and Denver and Chicago were headed for OT with all the momentum with the Bulls. All hell broke loose in OT as both teams had the lead down the stretch. With 39.5 seconds left, a tip in by Kosta Koufos put Denver up 116-115; this was followed by a Joakim Noah tip in to put the Bulls up 117-116. After a block by Noah on Chandler, Nate Robinson made 1/2 FTs to put Chicago up 118-116.
After a timeout, a big time three pointer by Iggy put Denver up 119-118 with 7 seconds left. The Bulls thought they had the win when Bellinelli had his shot tipped in by Noah with less than a second left, but after a review the refs overturned the basket as Noah touched the ball above the cylinder.
Denver would survive with the W 119-118, to make it 12 straight wins to tie the franchise record. Wilson Chandler led Denver with 35 points, Corey Brewer had 16 points and Iggy finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Denver’s bench went 30/50 from the field compared to 16/50 from the starters so this was the definition of a team win. Nate Robinson led Chicago with 34 points and Luol Deng had 21 points.
Next up for Denver (45-22) is the 4th and final meeting with their Northwest Division rival Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC tomorrow night.