NUGGETS 118, SUNS 107: Ty Lawson piled up 29 points and 10 assists to lead six players in double figures as visiting Denver clinched a playoff berth. Phoenix dropped out of the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.
Kenneth Faried collected 18 points and 13 rebounds and Arron Afflalo scored 19 for the Nuggets, who still have a shot at the No. 6 seed in the West.
The Suns (33-31) dropped a full game behind the Utah Jazz (34-30), who defeated the Orlando Magic later on Saturday. Phoenix, which visits Utah on Tuesday, owns the tiebreaker over the Jazz.
Phoenix guard Steve Nash surpassed Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson for fifth place on the NBA's career assists list. Nash, who had 13 assists, passed Robertson in the first quarter and sits at 9,897 for his career.
Denver made its move in the third quarter on Saturday, opening the frame with a 23-6 burst to jump on top, 83-64. Lawson hit three 3-pointers during the burst and Danilo Gallinari added five points and a pair of assists.
After shooting 54 percent in the first half, the Suns slumped to 37.5 percent (9 for 24) in the third quarter.
Phoenix cut it to a 10-point deficit with 4:41 left in the fourth but Lawson responded with a driving layup and assisted on Andre Miller’s layup to help the Nuggets pull away again.
Shannon Brown scored 28 points and Marcin Gortat recorded 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Suns.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Denver dominated in transition, scoring 26 fast break points and adding 20 points off 17 Phoenix turnovers. … The Nuggets clinched their ninth straight playoff berth (third longest active streak). … Suns F Channing Frye left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.