NBA: Frantic rally pushes Denver's streak to 14

2013-03-22T00:00:00Z NBA: Frantic rally pushes Denver's streak to 14The Associated Press The Associated Press
March 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

DENVER - The Denver Nuggets' streak lives on thanks to some luck and pluck.

Corey Brewer sank three free throws with 2.1 seconds left and Denver stretched its franchise-best winning streak to 14 games with a 101-100 thriller over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

Anthony Randolph blocked Damien Wilkins' desperation jumper at the buzzer to secure Denver's 16th straight win at the Pepsi Center - and its most unlikely.

The Nuggets, overlooked in the great surge by the Miami Heat, trailed by five as the clock ticked below 10 seconds.

Brewer sank a three-pointer with 9.2 seconds left that made it 100-98. He fouled Evan Turner with 7.1 seconds left and Turner, a 75 percent free-throw shooter, missed both of his foul shots, the first one bouncing out and the second one slowly rimming out.

"It's crazy. To be honest, I didn't think we had any chance of winning," Brewer said. "Then he missed those free throws and I was like, 'OK, we've got a little chance.' He gave us life."

After a timeout, Anthony Miller inbounded to Danilo Gallinari, who handed it off to Brewer, who quickly fired up a three-pointer as Wilkins slapped him on his left arm, drawing the whistle with 2.1 seconds left.

"I saw him coming and I just tried to get it off quick. He hit my arm, luckily, so I'll take the foul," said Brewer, who finished with 29 points.

Brewer took a deep breath and sank the first shot.

"I was just trying to be calm. I knew I needed to make two out of three and once I made the first one, a little pressure's off," Brewer said.

He hit his second, then took a step back while JaVale McGee returned to the game. Once McGee was in place for a possible rebound, Brewer swished his third free throw.

After a timeout, Randolph blocked Wilkins, who finished with 24 points, and win No. 14 was theirs.

"There's no one to point the finger at," Turner said. "We played hard the whole game, whatever could go wrong did go wrong."

The Nuggets haven't lost at home since Jan. 14 against Washington and they're in the midst of their longest winning streak since joining the NBA in 1976, a streak that survived despite an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers.

Even though Miller scored a season-high 21 points, the Nuggets sorely missed Ty Lawson (right heel) and Wilson Chandler (left shoulder), both of whom were hurt in Denver's signature win at Oklahoma City Tuesday night.

They nearly lost to the NBA's lowest scoring team, one that owns just six road wins, tied for the fewest in the league this season.

• Trail Blazers 99, Bulls 89: In Chicago, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points, Damian Lillard added 24 and Portland completed a season sweep of the Bulls.

Portland improved to 10-25 on the road to take the season series with the Bulls for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Blazers beat Chicago 102-94 on Nov. 18 in their other meeting this season.

Joakim Noah had 18 points and Carlos Boozer added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, which shot 44 percent.

J.J. Hickson grabbed 21 rebounds for Portland, which held a 45-41 rebounding advantage.

Chicago led 21-20 after the first quarter, but Portland scored the first 14 points of the second quarter and outscored the Bulls 32-16 in the period to take a 52-37 lead at halftime.

Portland extended its lead to 28 in the third quarter before the Bulls made a late charge, outscoring the Trail Blazers 36-19 in the final quarter.

• Kings 101, Timberwolves 98: In Sacramento, Calif., Isaiah Thomas had 24 points and six assists, Tyreke Evans scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Kings earned their third straight home win.

The Kings are 6-5 over the last three weeks and their 19 home wins are the most over the previous three seasons.

Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost two straight and four of five.

Injury-plagued Minnesota has dropped 21 of 28 games since Jan. 8. The Timberwolves have lost nine straight and 17 of 18 on the road.

Ricky Rubio had 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves.

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