• April 16, 2024

Jokic, Murray push Nuggets to 120-112 win over Suns in 2 OTs

PHOENIX (AP) – Extra basketball was played in Phoenix for a second straight night, and that was all Jamal Murrayis guilty.

The fifth year Nuggets Guard did some of the best work of his NBA career against that to sunbathe and the good times lasted well into Saturday night, mostly because of his clutch shooting.

Murray’s tough, off-balance 3-pointer at the end of regulation forced overtime and Denver overtook Phoenix 120-112 in two hours of overtime. Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and got 22 rebounds while Murray added 26 points.

Denver Nuggets Center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots Phoenix Suns forward Abdel Nader in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, January 23, 2021 in Phoenix. (AP Photo / Rick Scuteri)

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“It felt like a playoff game,” said Denver coach Michael Malone. “When you play the same team and you play starters in Double OT, you ask a lot of your starters and they deliver.”

It was the second impressive win in a row for the Nuggets, who have won eight of their last eleven games. Denver won 130-126 in a single overtime on Friday after recovering from a 14-point half-time deficit.

Saturday’s game was even more entertaining as the two teams acted 3s in the last second.

Murray met his while he got out of hand with him Deandre Ayton in his face as time passed in regulation. Phoenix Jae Crowder responded with a 3-hand with 0.7 seconds in the first overtime to send the game deeper into the night.

For comparison: the last few minutes were boring. The Nuggets scored the first five points of the second overtime and stayed straight.

The suns played without an all-star guard Devin Booker For the first time this season. With a team high of 22.9 points, he injured his left Achilles tendon on Friday.

Jokic scored 12 of his 29 points in the two overtime hours. Michael Porter Jr. got off the bench to score 14 points and score 11 rebounds.

“I felt good,” said Jokic. “When you play you feel good … It’s after the game when you feel it.”

Chris Paul hit a 15-foot jumper with 12 seconds of regulation remaining to put the Suns 98-95 in the lead, but Murray responded with his 3-pointer of the clutch. The 6-foot-11 Ayton had one hand directly on his face, but the ball still splashed through the next.

Murray came into the game averaging 20.8 points against the Suns in his career, which is his biggest against any team.

The first hours of overtime were just as tight as in the fourth quarter. Jokic made a smooth move in the mail to come over Frank Kaminskyand did a layup while being fouled with 28 seconds left. He took the free throw to line up Nuggets 104-102.

The suns had a chance to take the lead, though Abdel Nader was fouled on a 3-pointer from a corner, but missed two of three free throws. Jokic’s two free throws gave Denver a 106-103 lead before Crowder responded with a 3 0.7 seconds to tie them and force more basketball.

It was Crowder’s sixth 3-pointer of the night. Crowder and Paul led the suns with 21 points each. Paul also had 13 templates. Cam Johnson scored 19 points but failed to play in the final minutes due to muscle cramps.

“We played very hard, brought it out,” said Johnson. “It’s frustrating, very frustrating.”

Sun coach Monty Williams said it was hard to get upset about his team’s efforts. He added that he felt his team, playing without a booker, were getting tired in the last few minutes and couldn’t quite finish.

“I was just incredibly proud of the way they competed tonight,” said Williams. “We could have mailed it if we’d solved a tough question.”

The nuggets received a big boost from their bank, adding 52 points.

Ayton had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first half as the Suns took the 61-58 lead at halftime. Paul had 12 assists before break, the day after setting a franchise record with 14 assists in the first half.


Nuggets: Murray started despite being considered questionable with a left shoulder sprain.

Suns: F. Dario Saric and F / C. Damian Jones were both out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. … Beginner Jalen Smith played in his first game since December 26th. The number 10 in Maryland had five points in the first half. Smith missed almost a month with an ankle injury and then spent time on the COVID-19 list. … Ayton fouled in the first extra time and Kaminsky fought to defend against Jokic.


Nuggets: Monday night in Dallas.

Suns: Oklahoma City hosted on Wednesday night.

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