The Denver Nuggets hope to secure their current sixth spot in the Western Conference standings and will begin a two-game road trip tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Denver is sixth in the conference, just one-half game ahead of defending champion Dallas, and can lock up its current position with wins over the Thunder and Timberwolves, or a Mavericks loss at Atlanta on Thursday.
The Nuggets have won two in a row and six of eight games, including Sunday's 101-74 rout of the Orlando Magic in the Rocky Mountains. JaVale McGee had 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, while Danilo Gallinari added 17 points and seven boards for Denver. Ty Lawson registered 13 points and 10 assists in a winning cause.
"I think we're getting better overall and hopefully it carries into the playoffs," said Nuggets guard Aaron Afflalo, who had 15 points.
Denver is 16-15 as the guest and will close out the regular season at Minnesota tomorrow night.
Oklahoma City is locked in at the second spot in the West and is coming off last night's 118-110 win at Sacramento.
Kevin Durant scored a team-high 32 points and Daequan Cook added 19 points and five rebounds for the Northwest Division-champion Thunder, who played without top reserve and Sixth Man of the Year candidate James Harden. Harden 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.
Russell Westbrook finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Thabo Sefolosha and Derek Fisher scored 11 points apiece and Kendrick Perkins netted 10 points in the win.
"Those guys did a great job of building us a lead and playing defense," Durant said about his team's bench. "It was good for our second group to get their confidence."
The Thunder will shoot for a three-game season sweep of Denver and have won four in a row in this series. The Thunder haven't swept a series from the Nuggets since they were the Seattle Supersonics back in 1997-98 (4-0). The Nuggets are winless in three straight trips to the OKC.