DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 41 points and Jamal Murray celebrated his 24th birthday by scoring 19 of his 24 in the fourth quarter to lead the Denver Nuggets over the Portland Trail Blazers 111-106 on Tuesday night.
Damian Lillard had 20 of his 25 points in the second half and added 13 assists but it wasn’t enough for the Blazers, who were coming off a 32-point loss Monday night in Phoenix.
Lillard had only five points at halftime but the Blazers rallied from 12 down to tie it at the break behind Carmelo Anthony’s big second quarter. Anthony hit six of eight shots and two of his three 3-point attempts, scoring 16 of his 19 first-half points in the period. He finished with 24.
Jokic had 23 points in the first half and 12 more in the third quarter to help Denver forge a tie heading into the final 12 minutes.
Murray, held in check for the first three quarters, ended the night with a big fourth. He hit six of his next seven shots and three from deep, putting Denver ahead 93-90 with a step-back 3 with 5:59 left.
He then made a layup off a bounce pass from Jokic and a turnaround jumper in the lane that gave the Nuggets a 99-92 lead. Murray hit four free throws in the final 10 seconds to answer 3-pointers from Lillard and Anthony.
Trail Blazers: Monday marked the 10th anniversary of Denver trading Anthony to the New York Knicks. One of the assets the Nuggets received was a first-round draft pick, which they used to select Murray No. 7 overall in 2016. … Portland has lost three straight for the first time this season.
Nuggets: Denver was still without G Gary Harris (adductor), P.J. Dozier (hamstring), Paul Millsap (left knee strain) and JaMychal Green (right shoulder). With their top two power forwards sidelined, Michael Porter Jr. started at that spot. … The Nuggets are 9-6 at home.