NBA: Bucks finish 0-3 road trip with loss at Denver

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Mar 10 2020 11:59 AM

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) finishes off a basket over Milwaukee Bucks forward D.J. Wilson (5) in the third quarter at the Pepsi Center. Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Jamal Murray scored 21 points, including Denver's first nine to start the fourth quarter, Paul Millsap had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the host Nuggets beat the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks 109-95 on Monday night.

Jerami Grant added 19 points for Denver, and Gary Harris had 15. Will Barton scored 13 points and Nikola Jokic had 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Nuggets, who swept the season series from the NBA leaders.

Milwaukee played without reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and nearly the entire starting lineup to end an 0-3 road trip. Kyle Korver led the Bucks with a season-high 23 points, Sterling Brown had 16 points, Robin Lopez scored 11 and D.J. Wilson contributed 10 points and nine boards.

Milwaukee has lost three in a row for the first time this season.

In addition to Antetokounmpo missing his second straight game due to a left knee sprain, the Bucks played without Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Donte DiVincenzo and George Hill, leaving them without their top six scorers.

Bledsoe was out due to fluid on his right knee that coach Mike Budenholzer said has bothered him for a while. Hill sat due to a right adductor contusion sustained March 2 at Miami.

Middleton, DiVincenzo and Lopez were active but didn't get off the bench.

Despite not having four starters, Milwaukee was able to survive a big first quarter by Denver to get within six late in the second period. The Nuggets hit 10 shots from long range to take a 62-54 lead into intermission.

Both teams were cold in the third quarter, but Denver stretched its lead to 72-61 on a 3-pointer by Millsap late in the period. The Bucks went on a 10-2 run to get within three and trailed just 76-71 heading into the fourth.

A 3-pointer by Robin Lopez made it 82-79, but Murray answered with a crossover, step-back 3-pointer and fed Mason Plumlee for a dunk. Monte Morris subsequently hit a layup to put the Nuggets up 89-81 with 7:07 to go.

Jokic hit a rainbow jumper to give Denver a 12-point lead with 5:44 left. Milwaukee got within five, but the Nuggets were able to hold on.

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