DENVER: The Denver Nuggets rolled to their eighth successive win with a 128-96 demolition of the Chicago Bulls at home on Thursday.
Denver improved to 32-18 on the season with victory over the Bulls (29-20), who were blown away by a third-quarter blitz.
Leading by just five at half-time, the home side posted 37 points in the third term while holding the Bulls to just 16, ending the game as a contest.
Wilson Chandler led the way from the bench for the Nuggets with 24 points, including 5-for-5 from three-point range, while Kenneth Faried added 21 points and 12 rebounds.
“Most of our offense was created by good defensive plays,” Denver coach George Karl said.
“Wilson got the three-ball in the game for us, Kenneth had that great energy and we were an unselfish team. Wilson and Kenneth... what a performance.”
For Faried, his team’s latest impressive display represented a message to the rest of the NBA.
“Playing against a good Chicago Bulls team, this was our best game of the season,” Faried told reporters.
“We are getting out there and we tried to make a statement tonight.
“I came out with the mindset to dominate. I wanted to come out, make a statement and Wilson did the same thing. Nationally televised game and we did what we had to do tonight.”
It is the first time since January 2010 that the Nuggets have won eight in a row and they are now ranked fourth in the Western Conference, having won 14 of their last 16 games.
Meanwhile, Somewhere between Jason Terry’s 25-foot three pointer in the first half and Dwight Howard fouling out in the fourth quarter, Los Angeles Lakers realised this wasn’t going to be their evening.
The short-handed Boston Celtics steamrolled the Lakers 116-95 on Thursday behind a potent offence, including Paul Pierce’s 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Jeff Green scored 19 points off the bench, while Terry and Kevin Garnett added 15 apiece for the Celtics who shot 53 percent from the field and led by as many as 32 points in the second half.
“I like our drive, I like our spirit,” said Celtic coach Doc Rivers. “We’re playing selfless and free.”
The Celtics won again despite missing all-star Rajon Rondo, who is out with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Boston has won all six games since guard Rondo went down with the knee injury.
They are also without rookie starter Jared Sullinger, whose first season ended with back surgery.
“During the six game streak we’ve had a lot of lessons,” Rivers said. “You don’t sit on a lead with offence. You sit on a lead with defence.”
The contest was hyped as a battle between two of the most storied franchises in the NBA but it ended up being a mismatch. Garnett reached a milestone against the Lakers by reaching 25,000 career points. He is only the 16th player in history to hit that plateau.