Paul Millsap scored a season-best 36 points on 13-of-18 shooting and collected nine rebounds as the Denver Nuggets notched a crucial 126-125 overtime road victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 16 rebounds and six assists as Denver finished 3-4 on a seven-game road trip. Will Barton added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Jamal Murray scored 15 points and Devin Harris added 12.
Russell Westbrook had 33 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds but was just 12-of-32 shooting for Oklahoma City. Carmelo Anthony contributed 23 points and nine rebounds, Jerami Grant added 16 points off the bench, but Paul George tallied just 13 points for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City was 20 of 44 from 3-point range but fell into a fifth-place tie with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the San Antonio Spurs.
The Nuggets stayed two games behind the seventh-place Utah Jazz, who beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday. Denver is two games behind the eighth-place New Orleans Pelicans.
Murray connected on a 13-footer to give the Nuggets a 122-121 lead with 1:37 left in overtime. Millsap knocked down two free throws with 5.5 seconds left to make it a three-point cushion.
Barton pushed the margin to four by sinking two free throws with 3.6 seconds left before Oklahoma City’s Alex Abrines hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Barton drained a jumper with nine seconds left to tie the score at 114 and force overtime.
Oklahoma City trailed by 13 points entering the final stanza but opened the quarter with a 15-2 burst to tie the game at 94 on Westbrook’s basket with 7:54 left in regulation.
Grant scored five straight points a short time later as the Thunder took a 99-97 edge with 6:21 left. He also knocked down a key 3-pointer to give Oklahoma City a 110-104 lead with 2:22 remaining.
Denver answered with six straight points, the last four by Millsap, to tie the score at 110 with 49.2 seconds to play.
Jokic scored seven consecutive points in the third quarter as the Nuggets took a 75-62 lead with 8:31 left. The advantage later reached 15 on Millsap’s dunk with 5:41 remaining before the Thunder scored six straight to move within 81-72 with 4:51 remaining.
Torrey Craig’s 3-pointer with 1:17 to go accounted for the Nuggets’ 92-79 lead entering the final stanza.
Millsap scored 15 first-half points as Denver held a 62-58 lead at the break.
—Field Level Media