Nuggets aim to keep rolling versus Wolves
The Denver Nuggets have won seven in a row and don't look ready to slow down when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Pepsi Center on Saturday night.
Denver hasn't lost since Feb. 22 in Washington and during this streak, the Nuggets have averaged 111.2 ppg. They've won 12 straight at home and are an astonishing 27-3 inside the Pepsi Center this season.
"The window of our success is on our shoulders," Denver coach George Karl said. "So much of these last 19 games is to stay strong. We can't get happy. We can have a moment of enjoyment, but we still have a lot of areas to improve and we have a lot of good teams coming after us."
The Nuggets are the fifth seed in the West, but that is fluid over the final month of the season.
On Thursday, the Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 107-92. The Clippers were never closer than eight points over the final frame and were done in by a 36-26 third quarter.
So while the NBA talks about the Miami Heat and their incredible run, the Nuggets are just fine not being the focal point of the league.
"If we keep flying under the radar, that would be okay," said forward Kenneth Faried. "It's fine. After the break, we've come out and won these big games. We're just playing Nuggets basketball."
The Timberwolves snapped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday with an 87-82 home win over the Washington Wizards.
"I haven't seen (the locker room) this happy and excited in a while," forward Derrick Williams said. "We lost, what, six in a row? Any time we get a win, it's good. I think everybody has a different mood."
Williams led the Wolves with 16 points against Washington. Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio had 15 apiece and J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham both scored in double figures.
The Wolves scored 30 points off Washington's 24 turnovers on Wednesday.
In a piece of encouraging news for the T'Wolves, forward Chase Budinger indicated he hopes to return to the lineup in two or three weeks.
"I'm feeling a heck of a lot better," Budinger said after Wednesday's practice. "It feels good to be out there with the teammates, going through 5- on-0 and being with the team again."
There is no timetable of All-NBA forward Kevin Love's return.
The Timberwolves handed Denver one of its three home losses this season, a 101-97 setback in early January. Minnesota has won two in a row against their fellow Northwest Division rival, but the Nuggets are 10-3 in the past 13 in this series.
Minnesota has still dropped 10 of 12 visits to the Rocky Mountains.