With the Miami Heat maintaining a 17-game winning streak, the league's second hottest team hasn't received much attention. But the Denver Nuggets (42-22) won their eighth straight game Saturday, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves (21-38) 111-88.
Ty Lawson led Denver with 32 points on 12-of-17 shooting with three assists. In 10 games since the All-Star Break, Lawson is averaging 23.1 points per game. He's raised his scoring average to 17 points per game after averaging just 15.8 points per game in the first half of the season.
Corey Brewer scored 15 points off the bench and Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari had 11 points each for Denver.
Mickael Gelabale scored a season-high 19 points to lead the Timberwolves. J.J. Barea scored 15 points off the bench.
J.R. Smith and Steve Novak led an onslaught by the Knicks' (38-22) bench with 24 and 20 points respectively. New York's bench scored 75 points. Alec Burks had 14 points for Utah (32-31) and Gordon Hayward had 13 in Utah's fourth straight loss.
Andray Blatche and Brook Lopez had 18 points each to help the Nets (37-26) put some distance between themselves and the Hawks (34-28), one of the teams trying to overtake Brooklyn for the fourth seed in the East, . Al Horford had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Atlanta.
Brandon Jennings had 31 points and 10 assists for the Bucks (31-29), Monta Ellis scored 26 points against his former team and J.J. Redick had 15 points off the bench. Carl Landry and Klay Thompson had 18 points each for the Warriors (35-29), who lost their second straight.
Trevor Ariza had 26 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, Martell Webster scored 20 points and Nene had 19 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for the Wizards (20-41). Kemba Walker had 29 points and six assists for the Bobcats (13-50), who lost their 10th straight game.
Mike Conley had 22 points and eight assists to lead seven Grizzlies (42-19) in double figures. It was the fourth straight win for Memphis. Anthony Davis had 20 points and 18 rebounds for the Hornets (21-42).
Jared Dudley had 22 points and seven assists and Goran Dragic scored 18 points to lead the Suns (22-41). James Harden had 38 points and eight assists and Carlos Delfino had 21 points for the Rockets (22-41).