Paul Millsap hit a running layup with seven seconds left, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers 102-100 on Saturday night. Millsap finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Nikola Jokic scored 26 points before being ejected.
Jamal Murray and Will Barton scored 17 points each for Denver. The Nuggets (46-22) stayed a game behind Golden State for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Thaddeus Young had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Darren Collison scored 17 points and Domantas Sabonis and Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 16 each for the Pacers (44-26).
The game was tied at 100 when Murray got the ball to Millsap, who drove and hit the winner. Indiana called timeout but Bogdanovic missed a 3-pointer. The Pacers missed all 11 of their 3-point shots in the second half. Indiana shot 62.2 percent in the first half but just 28.9 percent in the second half when the Nuggets took over. A 10-1 run gave the Nuggets a 91-81 lead with 7:58 left.
The lead was seven when Jokic was called for a loose-ball foul with 2:56 left and picked up two quick technicals. Indiana made four straight free throws to cut the lead to four but Millsap hit a 5-foot floater and split a pair of free throws to make it 99-93. Bogdanovic hit two free throws and Myles Turner's three-point play with 47.6 seconds left cut Denver's lead to 100-99.
Denver missed two 3-pointers and Turner split a pair of free throws with 27.9 seconds left to tie it. The Pacers shot 68.2 percent to lead by 11 after the first quarter. Jokic had 16 to keep Denver in the game but Indiana opened up an 18-point lead with him on the bench in the second.
Denver closed the first half on a 15-2 run to pull the Nuggets within 60-57 at the break. The Pacers were 5-for-20 shooting in the third quarter and Denver was able to take the lead. Murray and Jokic hit 3-pointers to build a 79-73 lead, its biggest of the game to that point.
--Field Level Media