DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic scored 29 points, Jamal Murray added 21 points and 10 assists and the Denver Nuggets rallied past the short-handed but spirited Portland Trail Blazers 112-103 Sunday night, their second win over their division rivals in 48 hours.
The Nuggets didn’t trail by more than a bucket in their 120-108 win over Portland on Friday night, also at Ball Arena, but didn’t lead this one until the final seconds of the third quarter when Jokic’s finger-roll layup broke an 84-84 tie.
That erased the last remnants of Portland’s 14-point first-half lead.
The Blazers, who had just one 3-pointer in the second half after knocking down 10 before halftime, got 27 points from Deandre Ayton and 26 from Anfernee Simons.
Four other Nuggets scored in double figures, including rookie Peyton Watson, who scored 10 of his 12 points in Denver’s fourth-quarter blitz that improved their home record to 21-4.
Blazers reserves Kris Murray and Matisse Thybulle got starting nods with Jerami Grant missing his second straight game with lower back tightness and Malcolm Brogdon still sidelined with a sore knee.
Reserve Scott Henderson, who turned 20 on Saturday, one day after scoring 30 points against the Nuggets, finished with 14 in the rematch. Over the weekend, Portland coach Chauncey Billups texted him a sort of congratulations.
“I said, ‘Scoot, there aren’t many guys in the entire world that can say they scored 30 points on the world champions as a teenager,” Billups recounted. “But you’re not a teenager anymore. Let’s see what you’re going to do in your 20s.”