Nikola Stock – Jamal Murray’s 30 points guide Nuggets past 76ers
EditorsNote: adds a sentence to third graf; changes to “seven occasions” in eighth graf
Jamal Murray scored 30 points, Michael Porter Jr. had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-95 on Tuesday night.
Nikola Jokic finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Millsap scored 10 points for the Nuggets.
Tyrese Maxey had 13 points, Tobias Harris added 12, Ben Simmons scored 11 and Dwight Howard and Shake Milton finished with 10 each for Philadelphia. The 76ers have lost two in a row after a 10-1 stretch.
The Nuggets scored 44 points in the first quarter, a season high for the period, and never trailed in winning their third straight. The score was 9-6 before Denver started to pull away.
Murray started things with a rare four-point play. Porter had a layup and Jokic scored on two layups and then Porter hit a 26-foot 3-pointer to make it 22-10.
Seth Curry’s jumper broke the run, but the Nuggets scored 10 of the next 14 points to increase their lead to 32-16. After Matisse Thybulle made a 3-pointer, Denver ended the first on a 12-3 run, capped by a 3-pointer for Murray to give him 16 points in the period.
The Sixers were able to trim the deficit to 17 at one point, but 20 first-half points from Porter and 18 by Murray gave the Nuggets a 68-45 lead at the break.
Denver led by 25 on seven occasions in the third quarter, but Philadelphia made a run at the end of the period. Mike Scott hit a 3-pointer, Simmons made a layup and Milton drained another from behind the arc in the final second to make it 88-71 heading into the fourth.
The Sixers continued to chip into the deficit at the start of the fourth. Furkan Korkmaz had a dunk, two free throws and a layup to get Philadelphia within 90-77. After a timeout, Murray hit from the baseline, made a pullup jumper and sank a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 97-79.
Maxey scored all of his points in the final 4:28 to help Philadelphia get within six in the final minute, but Denver held on for the easy victory.
–Field Level Media