Nuggets beat Hawks 128-108, tie Boston for NBA's best record
DENVER (AP) — Jamal Murray scored a season-high 41 points, Nikola Jokic had his 18th triple-double of the season and the Denver Nuggets won their third straight game, beating the Atlanta Hawks 128-108 on Saturday night.
Jokic finished with 14 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists and recorded the 94th regular-season triple-double of his career. Michael Porter Jr. added 23 points for the Nuggets, who are 19-1 in their last 20 home games and moved into a tie with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA at 37-16.
Dejounte Murray scored 28 points to lead the Hawks. De’Andre Hunter added 20 points.
Trailing by 18 points at the break, the Hawks narrowed the deficit to 97-86 by the start of the fourth quarter on a tip-in by Onyeka Okongwu in the final minute of the third. Atlanta defenders had blocked the Nuggets’ last three field goal attempts in the third period.
Hunter’s jumper with 5:49 remaining got the Hawks within 109-101. But the Nuggets, with Murray leading the way, responded with a 15-2 run that pushed their lead to 124-103 with 2:23 remaining. The Hawks never threatened again. Murray had 11 of his points in the late flurry, which Jokic helped get started with an alley-oop pass to Aaron Gordon for a layup for his 10th assist of the game.
Murray had 22 of his points in the first half, including a 3-pointer off a feed from Jokic following an Atlanta turnover in the waning seconds of the second quarter. That helped the Nuggets take a 70-52 halftime lead.
Hawks: G Trae Young was held out of the game because of a non-COVID-19 illness.
Nuggets: Murray’s career-high is 50 points, at Cleveland ON Feb. 19, 2021. F Aaron Gordon was back in the starting lineup after missing the previous game with a left ankle sprain. … G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope left the game in the second quarter with a right ankle sprain. He did not return.
Hawks: Visit New Orleans on Tuesday to cap a five-game trip.
Nuggets: Head to Minnesota on Sunday night for the second in a back-to-back set.
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Dennis Georgatos, The Associated Press