DENVER — Behind a career-high 38 points from Jamal Murray, the Denver Nuggets overcame a poor shooting first half to top the Portland Trail Blazers 104-101.
The Nuggets trailed for most of the fourth quarter but tied the score at 95-all at two-minute mark on a Murray three. After a Trail Blazers turnover, A Mason Plumlee’s layup gave Denver a two-point lead.
The Trail Blazers took the lead back with 40.3 seconds left on a Damian Lillard lay-in but Murray’s acrobatic and-one layup put Denver back on top by one with 33.6 seconds remaining. Portland went cold on its next possession but was able to corral multiple offensive rebounds. After granting Portland possession, referees overturned the call granting Denver the ball. Will Barton sunk two free-throws as the Trail Blazers were only able to get a two-point basket on their next possession with just 2.6 seconds on the clock. Barton sunk two more free-throws as Portland wasn’t able to get off a potential game-winning three.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. However, Jokic shot just 5-17 from the field. He started alongside Plumlee who chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Lillard led Portland with 25 points and seven assists.
Denver and Portland slugged it out over tonight’s first half and combined for 94 points on just 41 percent shooting. The Nuggets trailed by four at the half but an 8-0 run to open the third gave Denver a brief lead. The Nuggets trailed 78-76 to start the fourth.
Denver hosts Kristaps Porzingis and the Knicks on Thursday at Pepsi Center.