DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Nuggets joined the NBA before the 1976-1977 season. That was the advent of the ABA-NBA Merger. Since that time, the organization has compiled numerous milestones.  The team’s latest achievement occurred without the players touching the court.

Last night, the Golden State Warriors lost to the Dallas Mavericks.  With that defeat, the Nuggets claimed sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.  The Nugs haven’t earned this accomplishment this late in a season since St. Patrick’s Day 1977.

Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics defends Paul Millsap of the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter at TD Garden on Monday in Boston. The Nuggets beat Boston in the first game of their current four-game road trip that concludes Sunday in Indianapolis.  (credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

According to Basketball Reference, on March 17, 1977, the Nuggets’ record was 43-26. They held a half game Western Conference lead on the Los Angeles Lakers.

As a result of a loss to the New York Knicks that night, the Nuggets would fall into a tie with the Lakers.  Denver would ultimately win the Midwest Division and finish second overall in the Conference.

Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets celebrates a three point basket against the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center on November 5, 2018 in Denver. (credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The current Nuggets have 11 games remaining  in the season.  They play this afternoon against ABA foe Indiana Pacers.

Golden State hosts the Detroit Pistons tonight.