The Denver Nuggets will shoot for their 15th consecutive victory Saturday night when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to the Pepsi Center.
The streak appeared to be in jeopardy on Thursday night when the Philadelphia 76ers visited Denver. The Sixers had a five-point lead with 10 seconds to play, but the Nuggets were the beneficiaries of some poor play, and great play of their own.
Evan Turner missed two free throws with the Sixers up two with 7.1 seconds on the clock, then Damien Wilkins fouled Corey Brewer on a 3-point attempt with 2.1 seconds left. Brewer made all three to take the lead, then Anthony Randolph blocked Wilkins' shot in the end.
"You can't play well all the time," said head coach George Karl. "It's when you don't play well that you have to figure out how to come up with a win. I'm not going to deny that this was somewhat lucky, but Corey had a hot game and he had huge (guts)."
A win is a win, as they say and this one extended the Nuggets' franchise- record for consecutive victories. They clinched a playoff spot for the 10th consecutive season and, by virtue of the Memphis Grizzlies' loss to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, the Nuggets are third in the West.
Denver is just a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers and one game ahead of the Grizzlies. The Nuggets are three games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for first in the Northwest and second in the Western Conference.
Against the Sixers, the Nuggets played without Ty Lawson (heel) and Wilson Chandler (shoulder). Lawson could be in uniform Saturday night, but Chandler is expected to be out a few more games.
Brewer led the way with 29 points, followed by 21 from Andrew Miller, who replaced Lawson in the starting lineup. Former Sixer Andre Iguodala had 13 and Danilo Gallinari netted 12.
The Kings have won two in a row, both at home, but the first victory was a great one over the Los Angeles Clippers. They toppled the Clips, 116-101 on Tuesday, then followed with a 101-98 victory Thursday over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Sacramento was led by Isaiah Thomas, who had 24 points against the Wolves. Tyreke Evans had 21 and DeMarcus Cousins registered a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
"It was kind of my night tonight," said Thomas. "I got the bulk of the minutes and I tried to do the best I could."
The Kings shot 53.3 percent from the field on Thursday.
The Nuggets have taken all three meetings between the teams this season and have won eight in a row against the Kings, who have lost three in a row on the road.
Denver has won eight in a row at home in this series. The Kings' last victory in the Mile High City was on April 5, 2008.