Nuggets beat Blazers 116-113
Nikola Jokic had 40 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, Jamal Murray shook off an injury to score 24, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 116-113 on Sunday night. Damian Lillard scored 26 and CJ McCollum had 18 points for Portland. Murray played most of the game with a sore lip after he took an inadvertent shot to the mouth in the first half. He hit two free throws, left the game to get patched up and then returned. The Trail Blazers led by two at halftime behind 15 points from Lillard. Jokic had 17 points in the first half and then he got hot in the third quarter with 15 to give the Nuggets a five-point lead heading into the fourth 93-88.
The Trail Blazers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped, scored the last five of the third and the first six points of the fourth to go up 94-93. Denver recovered to go up by four with 8:50 left, and things stayed close. Four free throws by Al-Farouq Aminu around a basket by Seth Curry tied the game at 102. Jokic scored but the Nuggets couldn't extend the lead, and Aminu's offensive rebound and basket tied it again with 4:15 left. Murray missed a 3-pointer with the game tied at 108, and Lillard missed a baseline jumper on the ensuing possession.
Jokic then spun in the lane to break the tie with 1:07 left. Jusuf Nurkic missed on the other end and Jokic was fouled after grabbing his 10th rebound. He drained both free throws to give Denver a 112-108 lead with 54.8 seconds left. Lillard dunked at the other end but Murray drove the lane and hit a floater with 30.6 seconds left to make it a four-point game again. McCollum drained a corner 3-pointer with 27.7 seconds left to make it 114-113. Murray missed with 5.4 seconds left but grabbed his own miss and was fouled. He hit two free throws with three seconds left to make 1t 116-113, and Lillard missed a 33-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer.
(With inputs from agencies.)