Lawson's jumper lifts Nuggets over Thunder 105-103
DENVER (AP) -- Wilson Chandler tied his career high with 35 points and Ty Lawson's jumper with 0.2 seconds left lifted the Denver Nuggets to a 105-103 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
Guarded tightly by Thabo Sefolosha, Lawson swished his jumper from just inside the 3-point arc on the right wing. With no time to catch and shoot, the Thunder failed to get off a final tip attempt after their timeout.
Kevin Durant had tied it with a driving bank shot with 17.6 seconds remaining. Andre Miller inbounded to Lawson, who never gave up the ball.
He said afterward his shot was the only option: "I was going to take the last shot, make sure it was the last shot, either make it or we go to overtime."
With Danilo Gallinari back in the starting lineup after missing two games with a bruised thigh, Chandler went back to being the Nuggets' sixth man and he led a bench that outscored the Thunder's reserves 71-11.
Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 38 points and Durant had 25 for the Thunder, who have lost five of their last six road games.
The Nuggets improved to 25-3 at the Pepsi Center. Only the Miami Heat, at 26-3, are better at home.
Oklahoma City, which leads the NBA in scoring at 106.8 points per game, trailed 85-75 heading into the fourth quarter but tied it at 91 on Westbrook's fast-break basket with just under 6 minutes left.
Westbrook's free throw with 3:17 left gave the Thunder their first lead of the second half, 97-96.
The Nuggets came back to take a 101-99 lead on Miller's finger roll, but Durant's two free throws tied it again.
Lawson missed a jumper just inside a minute and Durant missed at the other end.
Chandler's layup with 22.4 seconds left gave the Nuggets a 103-101 lead and gave him 35 points, tying his career high set in 2010 for the New York Knicks against Sacramento.
After a timeout, Durant's bank shot tied it at 103 and Denver called a timeout with 17.6 seconds remaining.
The Thunder raced out to an 11-point lead in the first half but the Nuggets bounced back and used a 26-6 run to lead by as many as 12 in the second quarter. But just as Nuggets coach George Karl wished for before tip-off, this one went down to the wire.
Behind a 36-4 advantage in bench points, the Nuggets took a 56-47 halftime lead after a frenetic final few seconds in which JaVale McGee got a steal and three-point play with 4.5 seconds left and Westbrook hit a 36-foot pull-up jumper at the buzzer.
The game also featured some intrigue during timeouts.
The last time the teams met at the Pepsi Center, on Jan. 20, Westbrook drew the ire of Nuggets fans by thwarting their mountain lion mascot "Rocky," as he attempted a backward half-court shot that would have won the fans free chips and queso. He did it twice, throwing the ball into the stands the second time.
Westbrook got the Kobe Bryant treatment -- booed every time he touched the ball -- and he had it a lot, scoring 23 points and grabbing six defensive rebounds in the first half alone.
But Rocky, sporting a "Block This" T-shirt, climbed atop a 50-foot ladder to attempt his long-distance trick shots this time.
And in the fourth quarter, when Rocky tried the backward shots from the floor, he had a "security detail" keeping everyone away from him. He didn't make any of them.
NOTES: The Thunder had hit 94 percent of their free throws (130 of 138) over their previous five games, prompting Karl to say before tip-off: "You can't give them free throws because they don't miss. Their bad night is 85 percent. So, when you foul them it's almost giving them two points."
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