DENVER — Forward Kenneth Faried had 20 points and eight rebounds as the short-handed Denver Nuggets overcame a 14-point deficit in the first quarter to defeat the Washington Wizards 105-102 on Sunday.
Denver, which won its fifth straight home game, had to hold off a late Wizards rally. Washington pulled to two with 10 seconds to go after trailing by eight with a minute left. But Denver guard Aaron Brooks and forward Darrell Arthur hit two throws each in the final 9.7 seconds.
Arthur also grabbed a loose ball that Washington forward Trevor Ariza had dropped with about six seconds to play.
Guard Randy Foye had 17 points and forward Darrell Arthur added 15 off the Nuggets bench, which outscored Washington’s reserves 52-28.
Denver hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute.
Guard Bradley Beal led Washington with 21 points. Ariza added 18, but only three of those came after the first quarter.
The sloppy Wizards finished with 24 turnovers, including 15 in the second half. Denver converted the turnovers into 30 points.
Washington (36-34) entered Sunday a game behind Brooklyn for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Brooklyn played Sunday night at Dallas.
The Nuggets took a 91-84 lead midway through the fourth quarter behind two driving baskets by guard Evan Fournier and Arthur’s 3-pointer during a 7-0 run.
Denver’s injury situation got worse in the third quarter when forward Jan Vesely, acquired in a trade with Washington on Feb. 20, left with a rib cage contusion. He did not return.
Sunday was Denver’s first game since forward J.J. Hickson tore his right ACL and was lost for the season on Friday in Dallas.
Denver has been without forward Danilo Gallinari (torn left ACL) all season and guard Nate Robinson (sprained left ACL) since Jan. 29. Center JaVale McGee (left tibia stress fracture) has been out since November. And starting forward Wilson Chandler missed Sunday’s game with a left hip strain.
Hickson appeared in 69 games, including 52 starts, and averaged 11.8 points and a team-best 9.2 rebounds. He had 26 double-doubles. A date for surgery date has not been set. Vesely is expected to play more in Hickson’s absence.
NOTES: Wizards G Andre Miller returned to Denver for the first time since his Jan. 1 in-game blowup at Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. Miller did not play for Denver again and the Nuggets traded him to Washington on Feb. 20. Miller said Sunday that it was his choice to stay away after the incident. “I said I wanted to stay away and they granted it,” Miller said. Miller said he was asked to come back after injuries to Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson left Denver without a point guard, but he declined. “I didn’t want to bring any more attention to the organization or to the players to distract them from moving forward,” he said. Shaw and Miller have not spoken since Jan. 1. Neither indicated Sunday that they planned to. “It’s unfortunate that it had to happen and neither one of us wanted that to happen, but I don’t have a problem with (Miller),” Shaw said. … Nuggets starting F Wilson Chandler (left hip strain) was not in uniform. … Nuggets F J.J. Hickson, who suffered a torn right ACL on Friday, will miss the rest of the season.
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