Oklahoma City, OK – Ty Lawson had 25 points, five rebounds and four assists on Wednesday and the Nuggets got past the Thunder, 106-101.
Arron Afflalo added 15 points, Danilo Gallinari scored 14 and Kenneth Faried finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets. They moved a game ahead of Dallas for the sixth seed in the Western Conference and can secure the position with a win over the Timberwolves or a Mavericks loss to the Hawks on Thursday.
"I think everybody feels like we are playing our best basketball right now," said Denver coach George Karl.
The Thunder, already locked into the West's second seed, were led by Kevin Durant's 32 points.
Denver was on top 100-99 with under two minutes to play when Faried soared from the baseline and threw down a putback slam off an Afflalo miss. Russell Westbrook then was off on a three-pointer and Corey Brewer made it 104-99 with 57.9 seconds left when he banked in a jumper from the foul line as the shot clock expired.
Westbrook answered with a pair of free throws but Derek Fisher missed a potential tying three with 8.9 seconds left and Lawson made two from the line to seal the win.
The Nuggets started strong as well. They led for the majority of the first half, going up by as many as nine before taking a 64-58 lead into the break.
"I thought Denver did a good job of establishing their pace in the first quarter," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We had trouble getting back on defense."
Oklahoma City took the lead, 70-69, on Serge Ibaka's bucket midway through the third, setting up the tight finish.
Oklahoma City again played without reserve guard James Harden, who sustained a concussion in Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers when he took an elbow to the head from Metta World Peace. World Peace was suspended seven games on Tuesday. It's unknown when Harden will return...The Thunder won the season- series, 2-1.