DENVER (AP) — Wilson Chandler scored 21 points in place of the injured Danilo Gallinari to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Houston Rockets 132-114 Saturday for their 20th consecutive win at home, matching a team record.
Reserve Corey Brewer led the Nuggets with 22 points. Andre Iguodala had 18 points and a season-high 14 assists, while Andre Miller added 11 points and 12 assists as Denver finished with a season high in points while improving to a league-best 35-3 at home.
The Nuggets also won 20 in a row at home from Jan. 9-March 30, 1985.
Jeremy Lin scored 23 points for the Rockets, who lost their seventh straight to the Nuggets, including all four this season. James Harden added 14 points for Houston, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Denver was playing for the first time since losing the sharp-shooting Gallinari to a season-ending left knee injury. Gallinari was injured when his knee buckled as he drove the lane in Thursday’s win against Dallas.
The Nuggets also were without Ty Lawson, their leading scorer who is out indefinitely because of a plantar fascia tear in his right foot.
Like Denver, Houston also was short-handed, playing without Carlos Delfino (flu) and Chandler Parsons (right calf strain).
Up by eight at the half, the Nuggets opened a 102-83 lead going into the fourth quarter, outscoring the Rockets 13-5 in the last 2:34 of the third while showcasing their team depth. Evan Fournier, who had 17 points and was among seven Nuggets in double figures, hit a 3-pointer to start the run. He later drove the lane before passing behind his back to fellow reserve Anthony Randolph for a dunk.
By the time Brewer hit a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play on successive possessions midway through the fourth quarter, the Nuggets had the game in hand with a 118-90 lead. Denver substituted freely the rest of the way.
Chandler hit consecutive 3-pointers in the last 1:41 of the second quarter to give the Nuggets a 64-56 halftime lead.
Trailing 12-4 in the opening minutes, Houston hit four 3-pointers in a row, including consecutive baskets from beyond the arc by Francisco Garcia on the way to a 35-25 lead after the first quarter.
But Denver got back in it by running the floor, going on an 18-4 burst highlighted by a pair of rim-rattling dunks by Javale McGee off feeds from Fournier to surge back in front.
NOTES: Delfino has missed the past three games because of illness and Houston has been without Parsons, the team’s second-leading scorer, for the last two. … The Nuggets’ Lawson has missed the last four games and five of the past six because of the foot injury. … Iguodala’s double-double was his ninth of the season. … The Nuggets’ previous season high was 128 points against Chicago on Feb. 7.
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