NBA: Nuggets handle Thunder to sweep season series


Posted at Mar 30 2019 12:53 PM

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) during the first half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Alonzo Adams, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Jamal Murray scored 27 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 115-105 road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

The win helps the Nuggets stay in tight contention for the top seed in the Western Conference with seven games remaining.

The loss drops the Thunder to eighth place.

Denver improved to 10-1 on the second night of a back-to-back.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Nuggets, who shot 56.5 percent from the floor. It was Denver's third-best shooting performance of the season. Paul Millsap (14 points), Will Barton (12) and Mason Plumlee (11) also scored in double figures for the Nuggets.

The Thunder tied the score about five minutes into the third quarter on Jerami Grant's 3-pointer. It was the first time since the first four minutes of the game that the Thunder didn't trail.

But Oklahoma City's momentum was short-lived.

The Nuggets reeled off a 16-4 run and the momentum lasted most of the rest of the third, starting with Murray's step-back 3-pointer.

Oklahoma City missed five consecutive shots as Denver extended the lead.

By early in the fourth quarter, the Nuggets' lead had grown to 14.

The Thunder cut the lead to two possessions in the fourth quarter before Denver ripped off a quick 10-4 run to extend the lead and put the game away in the final minutes.

The Nuggets swept the four-game season series.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, narrowly missing what would've been his second consecutive triple-double.

Paul George, who was a game-time decision with left shoulder soreness, scored 25 points. Westbrook and George combined to go 3 of 12 from behind the 3-point line. Oklahoma City shot 29.6 percent from behind the arc.

While the Thunder struggled from distance, Denver shot 42.4 percent from behind the 3-point line, making 14 of 33.

The win was Denver's eighth in the last 10 games, while Oklahoma City lost for the sixth time in eight games. The Thunder haven't won back-to-back games since March 11 to 13.