Nuggets sink Thunder on late bucket
Point guard Ty Lawson, who was 4 for 13 from the field up to that point, drained a 21-footer with 0.2 left to give the Denver Nuggets a 105-103 victory over the Thunder on Friday night at a raucous Pepsi Center. Lawson's game-winner made him the only Denver starter to score in double-digits. The Thunder bench was outscored 71-11. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for OKC (42-16) while the Nuggets (38-22) extended their winning streak to four and pulled to within five games of the Thunder in the Northwest Division. In the midst of an all-out search for better consistency on defense, this night marked a rare occasion when the Thunder's offense frantically scrambled to keep pace. After hitting seven of its first nine shots from the floor, OKC missed 14 of 16 shots during one stretch to find itself down by a dozen points. In an even more shocking development, the Thunder was unable to overcome poor free-throw shooting. After draining 130 of 138 (.942) free throws in the previous five games, OKC misfired at the line, converting 24 of 34 (.706). With “boos” constantly cascading down from a hostile sellout crowd of 19,521, Thunder villain Russell Westbrook poured in a game-high 38 points. In response to Westbrook blocking two halfcourt shot by Nuggets mascot “Rocky” during OKC's last visit, fans booed Westbrook at every opportunity – during pre-game introductions, while he was dribbling, while at the free-throw line, where Westbrook uncharacteristically struggled by going 12 for 17.
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