The Nuggets are off the grid, and they know it. And they're OK with it. While few have taken notice inside their own state, or nationally in a Miami Heat-obsessed NBA, they are quietly playing some of the most effective basketball in the league. Their fourth straight victory, 117-110 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night was a pre-Thanksgiving treat that essentially started a week ago. It is the second win over the Timberwolves this season with two games remaining. The Nuggets have won back-to-back road games for the first time and improved to 3-4 away from home. The win streak has come against teams all .500 or better at the time the Nuggets faced them. The only .500 team, actually, was the Timberwolves. And so the Timberwolves have been dropped under that for the first time this season, thanks to a balanced Nuggets effort — eight players in double figures — that also featured another whipping dished from the Nuggets' reserves to Minnesota's reserves. The Nuggets outscored Minnesota's bench 47-10, hardly a surprise given the early precedent set by both teams this season. Bench production from the Timberwolves has been virtually nonexistent, while the Nuggets have carved out one of the NBA's best reserve units. "I thought the biggest part of the game for us is we quieted their bench," coach Brian Shaw said. "We were able to contain (J.J.) Barea as well as Dante Cunningham, who both hurt us in the first game (between us). We're starting to get it, starting to build some momentum and play a little bit better. Our road mentality is kicking in. There's still some areas we can continue to grow, but we're starting to get it." So, essentially, Wednesday night was about the starters. If the Nuggets starters could play it even with Minnesota's regulars, or win the matchup, the bench scoring should work itself in their favor. For the most part, that turned out to be the case. And what wasn't taken care of in the matchups was cleaned up by fatigue. Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio played big-time minutes, which took its toll. Love was held to 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting and 15 rebounds. Rubio actually had one of his better shooting nights and finished with 17 points and 11 assists.
Nuggets down Timberwolves 117-110 for fourth straight victory
Denver Post | Nov 28