PHOENIX – Nikola Jokic had 29 factors and 22 rebounds, Jamal Murray hit a tough Three-pointer to drive extra time and the Denver Nuggets outlasted the Phoenix Suns 120-112 in two overtimes Saturday evening.
It was the second straight evening the groups performed additional basketball. The Nuggets gained 130-126 in a single extra time Friday after rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit.
Saturday’s recreation was much more entertaining.
Murray hit an off-balance Three-pointer with Deandre Ayton in his face as time expired in regulation. Phoenix’s Jae Crowder responded with a Three-pointer with zero.7 seconds left within the first extra time.
By comparability, the ultimate minutes have been boring. The Nuggets scored the primary 5 factors of the second extra time and by no means trailed.
The Suns performed with out All-Star guard Devin Booker for the primary time this season. Averaging a team-high 22.9 factors, he damage his left hamstring Friday.
Jokic scored 12 of his 29 factors in the course of the two overtimes. Murray added 26. Michael Porter Jr. got here off the bench to attain 14 factors and seize 11 rebounds.
Chris Paul hit a 15-foot jumper with 12 seconds left in regulation to place the Suns forward 98-95 however Murray responded with an off-balance Three-pointer that splashed via the web as time expired. It was a particularly tough shot, particularly contemplating a 6-foot-11 Ayton was proper in his face.
The primary extra time was simply as tight. Jokic made a clean transfer within the publish to get previous Frank Kaminsky, making a layup whereas being fouled with 28 seconds left. He made the free throw to place the Nuggets up 104-102.
The Suns had an opportunity to take the lead when Abdel Nader was fouled on a Three-pointer from the nook, however he missed two of three free throws. Jokic’s two free throws put Denver forward 106-103 earlier than Crowder responded with a Three with zero.7 seconds left to tie it and drive much more basketball.
It was Crowder’s sixth Three-pointer of the evening. Crowder and Paul led the Suns with 21 factors every. Paul additionally had 13 assists.
The Nuggets acquired a giant increase from their bench, which added 52 factors.
Ayton had 15 factors and eight rebounds within the first half because the Suns pushed to a 61-58 halftime lead. Paul had 12 assists earlier than the break, at some point after tying a franchise report with 14 assists within the first half.
Nuggets: Murray began regardless of being listed as questionable with a left shoulder sprain. … Murray got here into the sport averaging 20.eight factors in his profession in opposition to the Suns. That is his highest mark in opposition to any workforce.
Suns: F Dario Saric and F/C Damian Jones have been each out due to COVID-19 well being and security protocols. … Rookie Jalen Smith performed in his first recreation since Dec. 26. The No. 10 total select of Maryland had 5 factors within the first half. Smith missed almost a month with an ankle harm after which frolicked on the COVID-19 listing. … Ayton fouled out within the first extra time and Kaminsky struggled on defence in opposition to Jokic.
Nuggets: At Dallas on Monday evening.
Suns: Host Oklahoma Metropolis on Wednesday evening.
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