Will Barton had 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Nikola Jokic was an assist shy of a triple-double, and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 127-115 on Friday night.
Jokic finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for the Nuggets, who had all nine players who got into the game score in double figures.
Michael Porter Jr. had 15 points and 11 rebounds before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Malik Beasley added 16 points and Monte Morris had 14 for Denver, which made a season-best 22 3-pointers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, Khris Middleton added 24 points and Eric Bledsoe scored 15 for the Bucks, who had their nine-game winning streak snapped.
Milwaukee led 67-60 at halftime, but the Nuggets got hot in the third quarter and raced into the lead. They started the period on a 9-2 run to tie the game for the first time.
The Bucks went back in front but Denver responded with an 18-6 run to go in front. Beasley hit three 3-pointers in that stretch, including one that put the Nuggets in front for the first time and his last that gave them a 93-83 lead.
Two free throws by Middleton cut the deficit to six but Barton’s 3-pointer from the top of the arc put Denver up 100-91 heading into the fourth.
The Nuggets were 7-for-13 from the 3-point line in their 40-point third quarter.
Milwaukee got within 105-100 with 8:56 left, but Denver again responded. Torrey Craig, who finished with 11 points, hit a 3-pointer, Jokic scored on a layup and hit a 3-pointer and Juancho Hernangomez, who scored 12 points off the bench, dunked off a turnover to give the Nuggets a 115-102 lead.
Middleton’s two free throws cut Milwaukee’s deficit to six with 3:35 left, but Barton and Beasley drained 3-pointers around a Bucks turnover to make it 123-111 with 2:52 left, and Denver closed it out.
—Field Level Media