January 4, 2019 / 5:56 AM / 8 months ago

Murray takes over as Nuggets rally past Kings

EditorsNote: minor edits

Jamal Murray scored 34 of his game-high 36 points in the second half, Nikola Jokic had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the Denver Nuggets rallied in the second half to beat the host Sacramento Kings 117-113 on Thursday night.

Buddy Hield scored 29 points and Nemanja Bjelica had 17 for the Kings.

Sacramento has been a strong fourth-quarter team, but for the second straight game, it faltered in the final 12 minutes. Murray gave Denver the lead for good with a 3-pointer, and Malik Beasley scored on a jumper to give the Nuggets an 89-84 edge with 10:29 to go.

Bjelica’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 90-89, but Paul Millsap answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to spark a 10-1 Denver run that made it 100-90 midway through the fourth.

The Kings cut the lead in half on Willie Cauley-Stein’s dunk and then a steal and 3-pointer by Hield, which forced a Nuggets timeout. After Gary Harris dunked, Hield hit another 3-pointer to make it 102-98 with 3:40 left.

Murray scored off an offensive rebound and Hield hit another 3-pointer to make it 104-101. After Jokic fed Mason Plumlee for a dunk, De’Aaron Fox’s three-point play made it 108-106 with 1:24 left.

Murray then took over, hitting two 3-pointers in the final 1:01 to help the Nuggets close it out.

The Kings used a strong second quarter to take a double-digit lead. Two turnovers and a technical foul sparked a 9-1 Sacramento run to give the Kings a 66-51 lead. The advantage was 13 at halftime.

The Nuggets fell behind 70-55 in the first 1:05 of the third but then caught fire to get back into the game. Murray scored the next eight points, Jokic hit a 3-pointer, and two offensive rebounds led to a Murray step-back jumper to cut the deficit to 70-68.

The Kings expanded the lead to six, but Denver rallied and took an 84-81 lead on Monte Morris’ 3-pointer late in the period. The Kings tied it at 84 heading into the fourth quarter.

—Field Level Media

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