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Nuggets win 21st straight at home
Wilson Chandler scored 29 points and Corey Brewer had 28 as the Denver Nuggets overcame a slow start Wednesday night to post their franchise-record...
DENVER — Wilson Chandler scored 29 points and Corey Brewer had 28 as the Denver Nuggets overcame a slow start Wednesday night to post their franchise-record 21st straight home win, 96-86 over the San Antonio Spurs.
The Nuggets (54-24) also tied their franchise record for victories in an NBA season, with four games remaining, including two at home, where they improved to a league-best 36-3.
Andre Iguodala recorded a triple-double with 12 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds for the Nuggets, who haven't lost at home since Jan. 18 against Washington.
They broke the old mark of 20 straight home wins set by Doug Moe's 1984-85 team.
And they did it by overcoming a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter. Denver took a 38-37 lead into the locker room at halftime and atoned for its slow start by scoring the first 13 points of the fourth quarter.
That gave the Nuggets an 82-63 lead.
Even with Tim Duncan (17 points) sitting out the fourth quarter, the Spurs fought back, cutting their deficit to 89-82 on Gary Neal's three-pointer with 2:33 remaining.
DeJuan Blair's three-point play with 1:33 left made it 91-86 but the Spurs didn't score again. Blair also finished with 17 points.
Point guards Ty Lawson and Tony Parker sat out the showdown, Parker with a sore back and Lawson with an ailing right heel.
Bryant scores 47
PORTLAND — Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 47 points and the Los Angeles Lakers pulled closer to a playoff berth with a 113-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers moved a game up on the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Portland, missing the playoffs for the second straight season, has lost nine straight, the most since an 11-game skid in the 2005-06 season. Rookie Damian Lillard led the Blazers with a career-high 38 points.
Pau Gasol had 23 points, seven rebounds and nine assists, while Dwight Howard added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. Bryant was 18 of 18 from the free-throw line.
WASHINGTON — While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade chilled at the end of the bench — and with Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem also out of the lineup — the Miami Heat's B-squad set a franchise record for three-point attempts, broke the franchise record for victories in a season and clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Heat beat the Washington Wizards 103-98. The Heat committed a season-high 25 turnovers and chucked up the ball AAU-style, shooting 41 three-pointers and making 17. Still, that was enough to get the win that assures they'll finish better than any team in the West.
The Heat, which has won four straight, also reached 62 wins for the first time, moving one ahead of the 1996-97 team.
James (right hamstring) and Wade (sprained ankle and bruised knee) didn't play, while Bosh stayed home with the flu.
• Blake Griffin and Chris Paul led seven players in double figures with 19 points apiece, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-95 for their franchise-record 31st home win of the season.
• Deron Williams had 29 points and 12 assists to lead Brooklyn over host Boston 101-93. The Nets moved closer to wrapping up fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
• P.J. Tucker scored 17 points, including two key baskets in the closing minutes, and Phoenix beat host Dallas 102-91, pushing the Mavericks to the brink of playoff elimination for the first time since 2000.
• The Knicks will be without big men Tyson Chandler (back) and Kenyon Martin (knee) on Thursday when they take their 13-game win streak to Chicago.