kenneth faried

Kenneth Faried didn’t wait for the All-Star dunk contest to put on a big show.

The Denver Nuggets’ second-year star celebrated his invitation to the league’s annual slam dunk contest with a series of rim-rattling, crowd-pleasing jams that set the tone for the Nuggets’ eighth straight win, a 128-96 rout of the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Faried finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes as the Nuggets won for the 15th time in 18 games since Jan. 1, playing from the opening tip with an intensity that seemed to take the Bulls by surprise.

He had 17 points and eight boards on the break and was on the bench by the fourth quarter along with the rest of Denver’s starters as they relished what had become a laugher.

Wilson Chandler added a season-high 24 points, sinking all five of his 3-pointers, as the Nuggets made quick work of a stingy Bulls team that came in yielding just 91 points a game but watched Denver pour in 100 by the time the third quarter was over…

JaVale McGee put on his own slam-and-jam show, adding 10 points for the Nuggets, who haven’t lost since Jan. 18 and led this one by as many as 35 points…

Carlos Boozer led Chicago’s starters with 18 points. The Bulls again were without starting guards Derrick Rose (left knee) and Kirk Hinrich (right elbow). Center Joakim Noah (right foot) returned to the lineup, but was held to just one bucket and five rebounds. Reserve Daequan Cook led the Bulls with 19 points…

Lawson finished with 16 points and 12 assists and the Nuggets were an astonishing plus-40 when he was on the court.

– Reported by Arnie Melendrez Stapleton of the Associated Press