Sometimes the only hero that counts is the one who goes second.
Monday night's dance of game-winners began with the lead of Monta Ellis, who lifted from behind the arc with 14.2 seconds remaining to deliver a four-point play and give the Bucks a 111-110 lead.
Ellis finished with 38 points, but it was Ty Lawson who stole the night.
Guarded by Ellis, Lawson drove hard right, stepped back quickly from just inside the elbow, and completely lost the overplaying Ellis in the process. Lawson drilled the wide-open eight-footer with 9.3 seconds left and the Nuggets eventually held on to the 112-111 victory.
The biggest storyline, though, is that the Nuggets must now feel more confident entering the postseason. Lawson looked plenty healthy, finishing with 26 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 38 minutes.
The Nuggets sit with the No. 3 spot, but the win clinched at least the fourth seed, as they sit one game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies with one game to play. Denver owns the tiebreaker against Memphis, but the third seed remains in balance.
The current No. 4-seeded Los Angeles Clippers play Portland Tuesday, and if they lose the Nuggets clinch the third spot. But if Los Angeles wins, there is still a chance that the Clippers, as division winners, get the tie-breaker and Denver finishes with the fourth seed ahead of Memphis.
Meanwhile, the Bucks have lost five in a row. Of course none of that matters as they have already guaranteed their position as the No. 8 seed set to feed the Miami Heat.