The Denver Nuggets added another win to their record-breaking season, beating the Phoenix Suns at home in the final day of the regular season. They finish at 57-25 and clinch the third seed in the Western Conference for the NBA Playoffs. With a league best 38 wins at home, the Nuggets will take a 23-game winning streak at the Pepsi Center into the postseason.
The Nuggets had the game in hand early against the Suns and Ty Lawson played only 23 minutes, giving him the chance to recover from his heel injury a little longer. The team at times seemed to miss their intensity setter Kenneth Faried, but still dominated and pushed the ball with ease.
Wilson Chandler continues to start and led all Nuggets in scoring with 21. Seven scored in double figures for Denver and once again Coach George Karl showed everyone how to win as a team. Anthony Randolph impresses more and more every night and had 14 rebounds and 11 points in a solid effort against Phoenix.
Timofey Mozgov got some rare playing time and looked promising in his play with ten points and ten rebounds. And it’s always nice to have three effective big men around in the playoffs.
The Nuggets will now play either the Golden State Warriors or Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs and will most likely be matched up against the San Antonio Spurs in the semifinals. Faried is day-to-day, but even if he’s out for the whole first round the Nuggets should move on easily. It’s important for the team not to look too far ahead and take games day by day, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t.
The Spurs will be a tough opponent in the semifinals, the Nuggets split the regular season set with them, each team winning at home. They have kept games close in San Antonio and with Lawson back in the lineup they once again have a clutch player to take the last shot if needed.
The Nuggets have fought through injury and the subs and reserves continue to get minutes and contribute effectively. The playoffs start this weekend and Denver is looking forward to seeing the Nuggets put on a show deep into June.