WASHINGTON -- John Wall claimed foul on the final play, while Nate Robinson pleaded the fifth on his winning, defensive move.
Whether Robinson, the Denver Nuggets' point guard, made a clean steal on Wall, the Washington Wizards' point guard, was up for debate postgame, but both offenses were guilty of scuffling. The Nuggets had no issues with the final verdict.
After Nuggets forward Kenneth Faired missed two free throws with 4.3 seconds remaining, Robinson jarred the ball away from a driving Wall before the Wizards star could attempt a shot.
"We got to make it tough for him," Robinson said of Wall. "He's a great scorer, and we tried to make everyone else on their team score the ball. It worked."
Whether Robinson made a clean strip was up for debate.
"Same that was happening all game, but I didn't get a call," Wall said. "Nate Robinson was grabbing my arm every time I went by him. That's how I lost the ball. No call, and we lose a tough game that way."
Robinson finished with four steals.
"You got to be scrappy, do whatever it takes to win," he said.
Asked directly if fouled Wall, Robinson replied, "I'm gonna let you all make that decision."
Faried, who scored six points, dunked with 32.7 seconds left to put Denver ahead moments after he blocked a Wall layup attempt.
Led by Robinson, the Nuggets' reserves outscored Washington's bench 34-5.
"Our bench has been tremendous really this whole season," Denver coach Brian Shaw said. "They have bailed us out of a lot of situations."
Both teams were short-handed in their first of two meetings this season.
Center Marcin Gortan scored 16 points, and forward Trevor Booker had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who lost their second game in a row, both at home. Washington shot 36 percent from the field and 5-for-24 (20.8 percent) on 3-point attempts.
With Washington guard Bradley Beal still out due to a lower-leg injury, coach Randy Wittman had scant perimeter or bench options. Seldom-used rookie swingman Glen Rice Jr. made his first NBA start and scored seven points.
The battle of backups turned into a battle of offensive attrition in the second half after Washington led 45-40 at halftime and 58-46 in the third quarter. Denver ultimately outscored the Wizards 18-15 in the third and 17-14 in the fourth. Neither team led by more than four points inside the final six minutes.
NOTES: Denver's previous low point total was 88 against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Dec. 4. ... Nuggets G Andre Miller made his second consecutive start in place of Ty Lawson (hamstring). ... Wizards G Bradley Beal was cleared to increase basketball activities after a follow-up MRI exam showed improvement in the stress injury to his right fibula. Washington's leading scorer missed his seventh game Monday. The team also announced that F Al Harrington would miss four weeks after undergoing a procedure to clear out loose particles in his right knee Wednesday. The veteran last played Nov. 12. ... The Denver bench entered Monday ranked second in the NBA with an average of 45.3 points per game. ... Both teams are off until Friday when the Nuggets host the Utah Jazz and the Wizards travel to face the Atlanta Hawks.