EditorsNote: Tweaks/clarifies in third graf
Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 18 rebounds and 11 assists, Jamal Murray used a hot start to finish with 22 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Toronto Raptors 133-118 on Sunday night.
Torrey Craig had a season-high 17 points off the bench, Jerami Grant scored 16 and Gary Harris finished with 15 for the Nuggets, who had eight players score in double figures.
Jokic now has 12 triple-doubles this season and 40 for his career in the regular season. He was three assists shy of the mark at halftime and didn’t get his 10th until late in the fourth quarter.
OG Anunoby had a career-high 32 points, Norman Powell scored 24, Kyle Lowry added 17 and Pascal Siakam finished with 16 for Toronto. The Raptors have lost three straight for the first time in nearly three months.
Denver stretched a four-point halftime lead to eight, but Toronto hung around, getting within 98-96 late in the third quarter.
Michael Porter Jr.’s three-point play and putback helped the Nuggets open a 105-96 lead early in the fourth. Siakam hammered an alley-oop dunk to get Toronto within five, but Denver scored six straight to lead 112-101.
The Raptors got within five twice more, but the Nuggets went on a 10-2 run capped by Grant’s dunk on Jokic’s 10th assist to put it away.
The Nuggets made nine of their first 10 shots and hit nine straight from 3-point range to open the game, led by Murray’s first-quarter 17 points. He hit all five of his shots from deep in the first 12 minutes and didn’t miss a 3-pointer until he took a desperation shot at the end of the first half.
The Raptors responded with a hot second quarter, making 10 of 12 to start the period and erasing a 14-point deficit to tie it at 60 on a 3-pointer from Lowry with 4:36 left in the first half.
Craig hit two 3-pointers to help Denver take a 73-69 lead at intermission. The 73 points tied Denver’s season-high for the first half, which was set a week before against Minnesota.
—Field Level Media