January 5, 2020 / 4:02 AM / 17 days ago

Smith's career night leads Wizards past Nuggets

EditorsNote: Corrects bench points to 92; some additional fixes

Jan 4, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) talks to the media before the game between the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Ish Smith scored a career-high 32 points and added eight assists, Troy Brown Jr. had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the host Washington Wizards beat the Denver Nuggets 128-114 on Saturday night.

Isaac Bonga had 15 points, Anzejs Pasecniks scored 13 and Johnathan Williams added 12 for the Wizards. Washington’s bench, led by Smith and Brown, scored 92 points to lead the Wizards. Williams and Jordan McRae (11 points) were the only starters in double figures for Washington.

Jamal Murray led Denver with 39 points, 20 coming in the third quarter when he hit all six of his field-goal attempts. Nikola Jokic had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Millsap scored 12 for the Nuggets, who fell to 1-2 on their five-game road trip.

Brown scored 18 points in the first half to help Washington lead by as many as 16 but Denver was able to trim the lead to 61-55 heading into intermission.

Murray then carried the Nuggets to the lead, sparking a 17-8 run to start the third and a 72-69 lead. His dunk put Denver ahead 81-80 with 3:50 left in the period but the Wizards rallied to lead by as many as seven before carrying a 95-90 advantage into the fourth.

Malik Beasley opened the final quarter with a 3-pointer and another one from behind the arc to give the Nuggets a 99-97 lead two minutes into the period, but Washington stormed back to grab control.

Bonga and Brown hit layups and Smith scored four points during an 11-0 Wizards run that put them back in front 110-101 with 6:59 left. Jokic scored off of an offensive rebound but Washington hit two free throws and Smith hit a 26-foot 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 118-103 with 4:47 left.

The Nuggets’ Will Barton, who finished with 10 points, hit two free throws but Bonga answered with a driving layup to put the Wizards back in front by 15. Jokic missed on the other end and Williams hit a hook shot after grabbing an offensive rebound to give Washington a 122-105 lead, its biggest of the game.

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