Nuggets 125, Clippers 103
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Reggie Williams scored a season-high 31 points as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 125-103 Thursday night for their season-high fifth straight road victory.
The Nuggets moved into a tie with idle Sacramento in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. The teams have identical 37-39 records with a week remaining in the regular season.
Denver’s 17 road wins are three away from bettering the franchise record set during the 1987-88 season when the Nuggets finished 54-28.
Williams and Dikembe Mutombo broke open a close game with a decisive 19-8 spurt at the start of the third quarter as Denver hit its first 11 baskets to put the game out of reach.
Ahead 63-57 at halftime, Williams scored seven points and Mutombo added six to boost Denver’s lead to 82-65 with 6:54 remaining. The Nuggets outscored Los Angeles 37-24 in the period to lead 100-81 heading into the final quarter.
Williams, who fell four short of matching his career high, has scored 20 points or more in six of his last 10 games. Brian Williams, who is no relation, added 23 points and Mutombo had 16.
Denver played without leading scorer Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, yet hardly missed his 16.4 average. He bruised his right leg in the fourth quarter against Minnesota on Monday. His replacement, Bryant Stith, scored 13 points.
The Clippers, coming off a 32-point loss to Sacramento on Tuesday, have lost 11 of 13. They lost the season series to Denver for the second straight year, dropping all four meetings.
Terry Dehere led Los Angeles with 25 points.