DENVER — The Denver Nuggets secured the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs by routing the Phoenix Suns 118-98 on Wednesday night behind 21 points from Wilson Chandler and 20 from Andre Iguodala.

Their opponent in the first round wasn't determined until the late games on the West Coast wrapped up.

All they knew for sure after the buzzer was that they'll start the playoffs at home – where they've won a franchise-best 23 straight games to finish with the league's best home mark – 38-3 – eclipsing the old record of 36-5 set in 1976-77, their first year in the NBA.

They also won an NBA franchise record 57 games overall, besting the 54-win seasons of 1987-88 and 2008-09.

Luis Scola's 17 points and 11 rebounds led the Suns, who wrapped up the second-worst season in franchise history with a mark of 25-57, the worst in the West. The only one that was worse for the Suns was their inaugural NBA season in 1968-69, when they went 16-66.

The Nuggets have won 40 of 50 this calendar year, putting coach George Karl and vice president Masai Ujiri in the conversation for coach and executive of the year honors, respectively barely two years after Carmelo Anthony forced his way out of town.

Lacking a star, the Nuggets won more games than ever before by relying on teamwork, ball movement and a deep roster that's so far withstood the losses of Danilo Gallinari (ACL), who's out for the season, and Kenneth Faried (ankle), whom they're hoping can return in the first round of the playoffs.

Even though the Nuggets had their best record since joining the league out of the old ABA 37 years ago, they needed a win in their last game of the regular season to secure the No. 3 seed in the West.

"We've played 81 games and we've gone one more really important one," Karl said before tipoff. "I don't think it's overly important one way or the other, other than I think we'd rather get third than fourth."

With the third through eighth seeds not settled until the last night of the season, the Nuggets started their game not knowing whether they'd face Memphis, Golden State or Houston in the first round this weekend.

"We all have a feeling what's a better matchup, but come on, man, realistically ... with the history of my time of coaching says is just go do the right thing, go win every game you can and see where it falls," Karl said.

The Nuggets gave Karl just what he wanted to sooth any nerves – some breathing room with a 66-40 halftime lead.

It helped that the Suns were missing guard Goran Dragic (ankle), who had 21 points and 14 assists in a win over Houston on Monday, his fourth straight double-double.

Although Dragic was listed as out with an ankle injury, he suffered a cut above his left eye Monday night when he took a charge from James Harden that required several stitches. Dragic was replaced by rookie Kendall Marshall in the starting lineup.

Denver raced out to a 35-20 lead after one quarter and used a 10-0 spurt to push it past 20 points early in the second quarter, allowing Karl to begin substituting freely with an eye toward preserving the health of his banged-up lineup.

The Nuggets, who led 91-69 after three quarters, had 11 players post double-digit minutes, including Anthony Randolph, who had 11 points and 14 rebounds and Timofey Mozgov with 10 and 10.

Notes: The Nuggets held a moment of silence before the game to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. ... Suns interim coach Lindsey Hunter went 12-29 after taking over in January. ... Denver's 57 wins are the most for Karl since his Seattle team went 61-21 in 1997-98. ... The Nuggets made the playoffs for the 10th straight season.

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Follow AP Sports Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

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  • Andre Iguodala

    Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala chases down a loose ball in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. The Nuggets won 118-98. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Hamed Haddadi, Jordan Hamilton

    Phoenix Suns center Hamed Haddadi, left, of Iran, blocks a shot by Denver Nuggets forward Jordan Hamilton, right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. The Nuggets won 118-98. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Shannon Brown, Timofey Mozgov

    Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown, left, passes around Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov, right, of Russia, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. The Nuggets won 118-98. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Ty Lawson, Marcus Morris

    Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson, center, drives to the basket past Phoenix Suns forward Marcus Morris, left, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. The Nuggets won 118-98. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Shannon Brown, Corey Brewer

    Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown, left, passes the ball against Denver Nuggets forward Corey Brewer, right, in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. The Nuggets won 118-98. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Timofey Mozgov, P.J. Tucker

    Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov, left, of Russia, fouls Phoenix Suns guard P.J. Tucker, right, in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Wesley Johnson, Evan Fournier

    Phoenix Suns forward Wesley Johnson, left, looks to pass against Denver Nuggets guard Evan Fournier, right, of France, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Corey Brewer, Kendall Marshall

    Denver Nuggets forward Corey Brewer, left, and Phoenix Suns guard Kendall Marshall, right, fight for a loose ball in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Ty Lawson, Evan Fournier, P.J. Tucker

    Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson, left, and Nuggets guard Evan Fournier, right, of France, strip the ball from Phoenix Suns guard P.J. Tucker, center, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Andre Iguodala, Wesley Johnson

    Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala, right, tries to drive past Phoenix Suns forward Wesley Johnson, left, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets takes a shot against Jared Dudley #3 of the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Jordan Hamilton #1 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against P.J. Tucker #17 of the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Hamed Haddadi #98 of the Phoenix Suns and Timofey Mozgov #25 of the Denver Nuggets battle for rebound for a loose ball at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets drive to the basket against the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Wilson Chandler #21 of the Denver Nuggets takes a shot against Marcus Morris #15 of the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Quincy Miller #30 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Evan Fournier #94 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Jordan Hamilton #1 of the Denver Nuggets controls the ball against the Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

  • Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Michael Beasley #0 of the Phoenix Suns and Evan Fournier #94 of the Denver Nuggets battle for control of a loose ball at the Pepsi Center on April 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Suns 118-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)